Taxila  -  Scores of students of various faculties of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila boycotted classes and staged protest demonstration against absence of vice chancellor from the last 4 months, halting administrative and academic affairs of the varsity. The university is working without its administrative and academic head since June after former VC of the university Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar was appointed VC of the University of Punjab.

Carrying placards and banners inscribed with different slogans and demands for appointment of a permanent vice chancellor, male and female students of various departments including civil, electrical, computer science, and mechanical engineering took out protest rally from academic block and after marching the university campus, gathered at entrance gate where they staged a sit-in.

The protesting students while talking to newsmen said that their appeals for appointment of a permanent vice chancellor failed to move the chancellor, Higher Education Commission and Punjab Higher Education Ministry authorities. They claimed that they had sent many appeals to the governor but their plea fell on deaf ears. The students said that administrative and academic affairs including issuance of degrees, appointment of local and foreign supervisors for thesis and approval of local and foreign scholarships as well as financial matters had been suspended since June due to absence of the VC.

Furqan Ahmed, a protesting student said that various administrative issues had been caused by absence of a permanent VC.

Zahra Batool, another student, said that absence of the VC since long in the university was question mark on performance of the PTI’s ‘New Pakistan’.

A faculty member told that the Civil Engineering department was working without permanent, resulting in hanging in balance the future of scores of students and scholars enrolled in BSc engineering, M Phil and PhD programmes. He added, “The vice chancellor dealt with day-to-day affairs but nowadays we are facing problems and quality and governance issues.”

A number of faculty members lamented the state of affairs at the campus, which, they said, was deteriorating in the absence of an administration head. “The vice-chancellor’s appointment has been unnecessarily delayed,” the faculty members said.