LAHORE - The Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT), which is going to start its regular classes from March 23, is all set to introduce new disciplines of automobile engineering and cloth design engineering for the first time in Pakistan.  No university is previously offering these courses. Punjab Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan announced the other day that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif would be the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the university.

Earlier, objections were raised to approval and release of huge funds when the fiscal year was ending. However, the Planning and Development (P&D) Department wrote to different departments to surrender unutilised funds so that funds for other important schemes could be approved. The Industries, Commerce and Investment (IC&I) Department had surrendered funds and intimated the P&D.

Moreover, a meeting of the Provincial Development Working Party (PWDP) was held to consider Tianjin University’s issue and approve grant of funds.

The IC&I department wrote a note to the P&D chairman to grant the required funds. The P&D will write to the provincial finance department to release the funds.

Also, this is the first ever technical university established in Pakistan where the faculty would comprise of Chinese deans and heads of departments (HODs). Three Chinese deans and at least ten HODs would soon join the varsity, said a university officer, adding that the recruitment process for the faculty comprising at least 35 teachers has also been completed. He said the UET Lahore made all recruitments while hiring of non-faculty staff was under way. He said the PTUT would introduce new disciplines like automobile engineering and cloth design engineering.

The PTUT, a CPEC project, was established in Lahore in collaboration with three Chinese universities. The Punjab governor had also promulgated an Ordinance in November 2017. In this regard, an agreement was signed by the Punjab government through the Tevta with three Chinese universities on November 1, 2017 in Tianjin, China. The IC&I wrote that all necessary work has already been done for preparation of curriculum, course design and establishment of a laboratory, etc.

Official sources in the Planning and Development Department (P&D) told The Nation that a sum of Rs1 billion had been demanded to commence classes at PTUT. They said the amount will be used for establishment of labs, payment of salaries and other similar operational expenditure on commencement of classes on March 23. Officials said that after the PDWP meeting, IC&I department had written a note to the P&D chairman, demanding sanction of Rs995 million to run the newly established Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT). Moreover, as per the documents, a permanent campus of the university will be established at Government College of Technology on Raiwind Road, Lahore, where 29 acres of land is available. For initial 2-3 years, the sub-campus of PTUT has been established at Government Institute of Emerging Technology, Lahore, a building previously owned by the TEVTA.

Initially, a steering committee headed by the education minister and chancellor’s committee of PTUT were supervising the process of establishment of university to ensure that international standards are met.

After promulgation of the ordinance, vice chancellor of UET Lahore has been appointed acting vice-chancellor of PTUT. The governor of Punjab has constituted a chancellor’s committee headed by Minister for School Education Rana Mashood Khan. The committee has been empowered to exercise all powers to take executive decisions of the university. New admissions in the university are being supervised by the UET Lahore also.

To cater the financial requirements of the university, the IC&l Department submitted a PC-I costing Rs3,307 million, which was considered by the PDWP on February 23, 2018. The PC-I of the project was discussed at length and decisions were made that include mode of funding. The scope of the project should be restricted to initial 4-month requirements, and the bare minimum budget should be demanded in FY 2017-18. A new project needs to be included in upcoming ADP 2018-19, which will cater to long term requirements of the university. The lC&l Department, in compliance with meetings, moved a proposal for funds to run the PTUT amounting to Rs995 million for fiscal year 2017-18. A P&D officer said the university would be a first ever university under the banner of the CPEC to produce skilled manpower. He said that for the first time the Chinese senior faculty members would be coaching the Pakistani students in the varsity.

He said that all formalities were met to commence the China-Pakistan technology campus in Lahore and the CM Sharif would inaugurate it.