ISLAMABAD - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has expressed its inability to verify the degrees of 298 Parliamentarians, as it has not so far received these academic documents from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), officials of the Commission told the media here on Wednesday. According to them, the Commission has received few degrees for verification and now the metric and intermediate certificates of 283 lawmakers are still awaited for verification. HEC Chairman Prof. Dr. Javaid Lashari told the media that the Commission is going to start the evaluation process of the universities to rank the universities and their programmes. HEC Executive Director, Sohail Naqvi and other officials of the Commission were also present at the briefing. Lashari said that the evaluation and ranking process of the universities and their 100 degree programmes would be started in May/April which would be completed by the end of this year and in five universities evaluation forms had already been sent as a pilot study. He said that the four-year bachelors degree programme had been implemented in 27 colleges of Punjab and colleges of other provinces would also implement it gradually according to the international standards. The Chairman HEC said the Al-Khair University Mirpur AJK and University of East, Hyderabad had been banned for enrolment until they maintain minimum standards and the degrees would be recognised only already enrolled students. He said the Commission was considering chalking out a policy for the appointment of lecturers of grade 18 according to which only candidates having M Phil degrees would be eligible for the post. He said that due to cuts and budgetary constraints the Commission had not been expanding its university campuses and other programmes and trying to increase quality standards and upgraded curriculum. About 61-quality assurance cells had been established in the universities and in the rest of universities such cells would also be established which would be reporting to Quality and Evaluation Division of the HEC for performance evaluation. He said from 2002 to 2009 a total 3,280 PhDs had been produced thus the research output has increased manifold but the research has to be revolutionised and linked to the industry to build economies, communities and leadership as in the developed world universities are not only seats of learning but pillars of institutional development. He said there was a revolution that had started to take place and research publications had increased tremendously which would further increase when 7,500 PhDs would return back after completing their studies under the scholarship programme of HEC. He said that two Pakistani universities had been ranked among the top 300 technology universities of the world according to World University Ranking 2010, according to which NUST has been ranked at 274 and UET Lahore at 281.