ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday approved the appointment of Dr Ikram Ali Malik as Chairman of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE).

Dr Malik has been working in the Economics Department of PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, as an associate professor in grade 21. He holds post-doctoral degree from UK and is heading quality enhancement cell of the university also.

According to information, the decision was taken after Minister of State for Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education Balighur Rehman's meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wherein the issues of appointment of chairpersons of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Federal Board were discussed.

The PM office approved the decision that is expected to be notified by the Establishment Division today(Friday), informed an official of the ministry.  "Dr Ikram's name was on the top of the panel of three names and his academic credentials are also better than that of others. The decision sounds to be on merit," the official said.

The ministry after interviewing 23 candidates had finalised the search process in December last year and sent three names to the premier for the appointment of board's chairperson. The three candidates were Associate Professor Ikram Ali Malik, Joint Education Adviser at Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), Mohammad Rafique Tahir and Principal of the Islamabad Model College for Boys G-10/4 Prof Dr Ali Ahmad Kharal.

Former chairperson Shaheen Khan had completed her term on September 18, 2013 but she was allowed by the ministry to continue till the appointment of a permanent chairman. She was appointed as FBISE Chairperson on deputation. But after the two day strike of the employees against her the ministry sent her on forced leave on March 14 and later repatriated to her parent department of HEC.

Meanwhile, the government also appointed Raja Ahsan as Secretary Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education. He was, earlier, heading PM's inspection cell.