LAHORE – The Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) has sought a report from the Punjab University management over the appointment of Isar Rana as director public relations (DPR), says a document available with TheNation.

The HED has asked the Punjab University registrar to furnish a report / comments along with academic documents and job application of DPR Isar Rana at the earliest.

Sources told TheNation that the HED had received a complaint that Rana’s appointment was against rules and he had not even submitted his academic documents. Following the complaint, the HED asked the Punjab University registrar to treat the letter on most urgent basis.

The sources said Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran appointed Isar Rana as the DPR in BPS-19 – after creating a special post in the office of the Public Relations Department – on a fixed montly salary of Rs100,000 plus petroleum allowance vide notification number 20493-20503/Est II dated July 02.

According to Rana’s CV, also available on Punjab University website, he did his Master’s in Journalism from the Urdu Arts College, University of Karachi, in 1990; and Master’s in Urdu from the Punjab University in 1991. How it was possible to complete a two-year degree in just one year, wondered the sources, adding that Rana’s name is also missing in the Punjab University Gazette 1991.

Also, Rana’s CV does not mention from where he did his Matriculation, FA and BA. “Rana is not submitting his documents despite pressure from the Punjab University administration for clearance of his salary,” the sources claimed.

According to Punjab University appointment rules, an employee has to get fitness certificate from the Health Centre’s chief medical officer (CMO) for becoming eligible to draw salary and continue the job.

During the medical examination, CMO Dr Nauman Ahmed asked Rana to provide Matriculation certificate for confirmation of his date of birth, but the latter did not comply. Later, Rana presented his CNIC as a substitute, though interestingly it mentions only his year of birth (1965) and not date and month. Therefore, the CMO refused to issue the medical certificate to Rana.

On July 31, the Treasurer’s Office refused to release Rana’s salary because he had not provided the medical clearance certificate; however, Rana wrote a letter vide diary number 277/DPR to the CMO, requesting him that he could not provide his academic documents because of ‘hectic schedule’ and he may kindly be ‘facilitated’ in drawing his salary. The CMO then put a note on his letter that his medical certificate is in process and, in the meantime, his salary may be released. The Treasurer’s Office provisionally passed his pay bill of Rs100,000 on the same day.

Later, using his influence, Rana also managed to get his second salary released without submitting the medical clearance certificate and his educational documents. Some members of the Punjab University Employees Union have expressed their concern over Rana’s qualification and illegal appointment, and demanded of the Punjab chief minister to order an inquiry into the matter.

When contacted, Rana said he had lost his Matriculation certificate and applied for a duplicate. However, Rana added that he had already submitted his certificates to the Registrar’s Office. Punjab University Registrar Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir told this scribe that Rana has submitted his MA Urdu degree. He also said that as per the university’s rules, the vice chancellor could create a new seat.