LAHORE - Some of the candidates for the vice chancellor in public sector universities have challenged the eligibility of finally recommended candidate having shortage of experience as well as research papers.

The representations submitted to the Secretary Higher Education office challenged that some ineligible candidates had been made eligible.

The petitioners conveyed their reservations about the procedure adopted by the eligibility determining by the Punjab HEC and the Search Committee.

The Punjab government had finalised the names for university heads of Punjab University (PU), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), University of Sargodha (UOS) and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology (MNS-UET) Multan, after Shehbaz Sharif interviewed candidates for these slots.

When contacted Secretary HED Irfan Ali confirmed that some candidates had approached his office and submitted representations against those whose names had been finalised by the Search Committee a couple of weeks ago. However, the secretary refused to tell names of those candidates who had submitted the representations.

The Punjab HEC Chairman Dr Nizamuddin was not available for comments.

However, official sources told that some candidates whom the search committee had dropped from the final list for one reason or the other had submitted in writing to the secretary office drawing the attention towards an unfair selection process for the VCs.

A candidate for the LCWU VC-ship Dr Farah Malik in her representation stated that one candidate doesn’t meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in the advertisement that the candidate should have not less than 12 years experience with at least 15 publications in HEC recognized journals.

“Dr Uzma Quraishi claimed to have total 19 publications, as per her CV presented to the HED and Search Committee for the selection as VCs, the representation, a copy of which is available with this paper says. Her 10 articles are published in the “Journal of Educational Research” and Journal of Education”, the journals falling in the Z category as per HEC recognised list of journals which cannot be accepted for the appointment as professor BS 21 or TTS in any university of Pakistan as per the HEC directive. How, these can be accepted for the post of VCs which is BS 22, it adds.

The petition further says about an article published in the Gomal University Journal of Research which is not even present in the HEC recognised journals list.

Giving more details, the representation claims that only five articles may be accepted on credit of Dr Uzma Quraishi, though these journals are not included in the HEC JCR list. She lacked 10 articles to meet the eligibility criteria for the post of VC as per the HED advertisement.

Dr Quraishi does not meet the criteria for a university professor. Therefore, her professorship candidature becomes also questionable that has already been questioned in LCWU audit observation of 2010-11.

The document further says that four candidate were interviewed including Dr Uzma Quraishi, Dr Shahida Husnain, Dr Rukhsana Kausar and Dr Farah Malik. “After the interview rather than excluding Dr Uzma Quraishi, my name has been excluded in the last three selected candidates whereas I was purely on merit.

Another petitioner who also submitted representation to the HED Secretary requesting secrecy, copy of which is submitted to the governor, the Chairman HEC and the CM Office and also available with this paper, said why for the second time a candidate who for the first time was declared ineligible for the LCWU VC slot was finalized by the search committee.

This petitioner also the candidate whose name was finalized for the LCWU VC-ship lacked required number of publications. The representation further says that Dr Uzma Quraishi does not have 15 publications in the HEC recognised journals. “Not even a single article falls in the impact factor journal” it adds.

The candidate also demanded of the Punjab government to re-advertise the VC seats and make fresh appointments upholding merit and justice as per the policy of the present leadership.