Islamabad - The Federal Ombudsman declared Pharmacy Council of Pakistan (PCP) and Quad-i-Azam University (QAU) administration responsible for non-registration of the varsity’s Department of Pharmacy, directing both institutions to resolve the matter in sixty days, The Nation learned on Wednesday.

According to the decision available with The Nation the court of Federal Ombudsperson found the students of Pharmacy-D department to be victims of negligence on part of the two government institutions. 

The decision made by Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shehbaz stated “The PCP is recommended to resolve the recognition/registration of the students of the QAU in consultation with the University, as committed during the hearing, expeditiously within a period of 60 (sixty) days to prevent further loss to the students/graduates. The Fine proposed by the PCP should be imposed, if at all on the university and officials of the Council who did not act timely on the request of the university”.

The ombudsman in its decision said that the QAU had been issued No Objection Certificate (NOC) on November 18, 2013, although the request was made in 2011. The court said that the case is an ‘unfortunate example of poor planning and execution’ and indifference of two important institutions has caused harm to the career of large number of students.

The PCP had alleged that QAU administration in 2011 had admitted the students in Pharm-D department without obtaining the NOC and fulfilling the infrastructure requirements including hiring the faculty as per the criteria prescribed by PCP.

The PCP pleaded that the university was advised time and again to stop the intake of students in the pharmacy dept, in absence of an NOC of the Council, but the demand was ignored. It enrolled two batches of 88 and 98 students. The Council in its meeting had decided to impose 50percent of the tuition fee charged by the university with the undertaking that the institution will not make the violation again.

Sources informed The Nation that PCP and QAU officials are going to hold a meeting to discuss the registration procedure of the Pharmacy department of QAU today.

Sources also said that some sections of the PCP associated with the private universities pharmacy department were not in the favor of registration of the country’s top ranked public-sector university.

The council though had granted only two-year conditional recognition to the department in the month of January directing the university to appoint the required teaching faculty.

However, the batches of students registered before issuing of NOC in 2013 were not recognized. The PCP had proposed additional condition of paying the penalty fee and pre-registration test for the students.

The PCP earlier this week had also written a letter to the university in order to conduct a pre-registration test for the students admitted before issuance of the NOC.

The letter said “in compliance to Lahore High Court (LHC) order the pre registration exam will be conducted for those students only who were enrolled by QAU before NOC within 3 months i.e. 88 students in 2011 and 98 in 2012 after the receipt of penalty fee.

A senior official said that PCP demand of taking pre-registration test is irrelevant and on the pressure of private sector pharmacy department as the decision referred by PCP was announced in 2015 while the QAU applied for the registration in 2011. 

Vice Chancellor (VC) QAU Prof Dr. Javed Ashraf talking to The Nation said that university administration held positive meetings with PCP and soon the registration issue of the Pharmacy department will be solved.

He said that university had agreed to pay the penalty fee however there were some differences regarding the conducting of pre-registration test for students.  VC QAU added that likely after the decision of Federal Ombudsman, students will be exempted from appearing in pre-registration exam.

The students of Pharmacy department held a number of protests for registration of their department.  Chairman PCP Dr. Asad Hafeez was approached for his comments but didn’t respond.