islamabad - The Election Commission (EC) relaxing the recruitment ban on ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has allowed appointment of the heads of four federal charted educational institutions including the Higher Education Commission, said the official on Tuesday.

Earlier EC had banned the recruitment and transfers in all government departments before the new elections to be held this year.

The higher educational institutions include Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Allama Iqbal Open  University, International Islamic University and National College of Arts.

The official said that the government has already advertised the positions of heads of the institutions while some of them are in process.

The notification addressing Joint Education Advisor Ministry of Federal Education stated that “I am directed to refer to you letter number F.No.1-9/2013 (E-ii) dated nil on the subject noted above and to say that the request for exception has been examined. The election Commission has been pleased to relax ban to the extent of following positions subject to fulfillment of requisite rules and procedures to be followed meticulously by the hiring agency and committee”.

The notification said that ministry can complete the recruitment process of Chairperson Higher Education Commission (HEC), Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University, Vice Chancellor Allama Iqbal Open University, Rector International Islamic University, and Principal National College of Arts.

The official said that the interviews for the post of chairperson HEC are going to start from today while the names for the Principal of NCA have also been shortlisted.

The official said that the post of Quaid-i-Azam University VC will be vacant in the month of October and according to rules the post must be announced three months before to complete the process.

The official also said that the process of appointment of new chairperson may not be completed during the term of current government as the federal education ministry has made the process controversial by issuing an email to the applied candidates asking about their age.

The official added that some of the candidates who were issued the interview letters late are also mulling to challenge the procedure of appointment in court.

“A large number of candidates have shown no confidence in the procedure and are demanding to leave the task for next government,” the official said.

Earlier, the academic societies including teachers association had protested for the fair appointments in higher education sector under the federal government.

Addressing the occasion, the speakers said that 2018 is the year of the key appointments in higher education in public sector, which requires critical attention and objective review.

Secretary Education Akbar Durrani was contacted repeatedly for his version but wasn’t available for comment.