LAHORE - The National College of Arts (NCA) is losing its internal structure because of the adhocism, being practised over the last two years, TheNation has learnt.

The college is managing its affairs with acting principals since July 2010 after the retirement of Nazish Attaullah. During this period, the NCA has experienced four acting principals including Fozia Qureshi, Bashir Ahmed, Sajjad Kosar and the incumbent Shabnam Khan.

It is matter of concern that despite the completion of the process of appointment of a permanent principal, the competent appointing authority, the Prime Minister office, has been forwarding the summary for the appointment of the above mentioned slot of acting principal instead of fulfilling its responsibility to forward the summary of the selected three candidates to the PM for approval.

Sources said the stage had come that the faculty members were not accepting the authority of any acting principal. “The acting principal also hesitates to utilise his/her powers and only does day to day maters. He also does not have any role of policy making and could not take any major decision in the interest of the college administrative problems. He also has limited power to purchase needed things and equipments which causes difficulties to run the business,” they said.

The substantial damage has already been done to the structure of the institution due lack of interest of the competent authority in appointing the permanent head.

Sources privy to the development while talking about the saga of the appointment of the NCA’s head told this scribe that after the retirement of Nazish Attaullah, the post was advertised and the then Federal Education Minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali interviewed the candidates.

The minister rejected all the candidates, asking his office to re-advertise the post. On direction of the minister, the post was re-advertised and the candidates who had applied against the first advertisement, restrained to contest again.

Later, the minister had selected a candidate Maleeha Agha of Punjab University. But, some of the candidates, who restrained to apply again, moved to the court. The court declared the selection of Maleeha null and void, remarking that it was injustice to ask anyone for not applying. Resultantly, the post was advertised for the third time and on request of Raza Rabbani, the then In-charge minister, the PM formed a six member high-powered committee under the chair of the then cabinet secretary Nargis Sethi.

The committee finalised three names including Dr Murtaza Jafri, Syed Maqsood Pasha and Zafar Iqbal. But, since the finalisation of three names, the PM office was sitting on the file. The three finalised were from the different departments of the NCA including Fine Arts, Architecture and Design.

They have good educational background as Dr Jafri, who had worked as director National Council of the Arts and registrar NCA, is qualified from Chelsea College of Arts, London, Montreal University and Concordia University Montréal and did doctoral and post doctoral studies at AVA London and Cambridge. He has supervised a number of PhD and Mphil students from various universities. He has been working as director MA (honours) and director traditional art programs since 2007.

Syed Pasha has done his Masters in Multimedia Arts from NCA and has been heading the NCA Multimedia Department since establishment of this department. He is also heading the NCA Architecture Department.

Zafar Iqbal has also done his Masters in Multimedia Arts from the NCA and has done his residency in France. Zafar is working as coordinator in the multimedia dept since its establishment. Additionally, he is also working as director international affair at the NCA.

Despite selection their names, the three have been waiting for the response from the PM office since August 2011. They have never been told that why the authorities are lingering on the issue of the appointment.  On the other hand, the NCA faculty and students are expressing their concern over delay of the appointment of the permanent principal, and keep imposing acting head one after the other. They are questioning that what is wrong with selected candidates.

A faculty member of the college said some hidden hands wanted to get appointed someone blue-eyed. He said the person had not been short-listed twice, so they were trying to manipulate the situation in the favour of their blue-eyed person.