ARSHAD BHATTI

LAHORE – The Equivalence Committee of Higher Education Department of Punjab Government has finally resolved the issue of Equivalence of M.Sc., Industrial Chemistry and M.Sc., Chemistry. A meeting of the committee comprising Prof. Dr. I.U. Khan of Government College University (GCU) Lahore and Prof. Dr. Muhammad Makhshoof Athar, Director Institute of Chemistry, University of Punjab, Director PPSC, and a senior official of the HED, Deputy Secretary Tariq Saeed on Tuesday amicably resolved the issue with consensus. The decision has been hailed by dozens of M.Sc., Industrial Chemistry degree holders who were rejected in the interview after passing the written test for Lecturer grade in Chemistry at the Public Service Commission recently. The decision would not only save the future of affected candidates but go a long way in building confidence among the Industrial Chemistry degree which is the latest and market oriented discipline introduced in Pakistan a few years ago.

The Punjab Public Service Commission had earlier raised the issue of Equivalence of the both the degrees during the interview process continuing currently at the PPSC office for the successful candidates in written test. Apparently it seemed to be a blockade in the ongoing process of recruitment to fill the vacant posts of lecturers in the Government colleges in various subjects. Though the issue was already settled in a number of cases which should have been applied across the board but the PPSC sought the post specific Equivalence Certificate. Keeping in view the HED presented record of earlier committee meetings and cogent precedence and the applications of the candidates were re-examined afresh and were granted Equivalence to resolve the issue amicably within the time frame of one-week asked by the PPSC after which the candidates will be interviewed.

As many as 215 candidates who passed the written examination appeared three days back for final interview for lecturers (Male) before the Panels of interviewers at the PPSC. While no other among five/six panels interviewing the candidates, one asked for fresh Equivalence Certificates, at the end refused to interview the candidates holding M.Sc. Industrial Chemistry degree though had met the eligibility criteria and PPSC allowed them to sit in the written examination. There was not much difference in course outline of both and the question paper of the PPSC too was combination of both. On the basis of this equivalence a number of M.Sc. Industrial Chemistry qualified persons are working as lecturers in Government colleges and in various Government departments in grade 17. It may be mentioned that around 215 qualified the written test from amongst the 6,000 candidates who appeared for 83 posts of Lecturers in Chemistry.