Islamabad - The National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training on Thursday unanimously passed “The National Skills University Islamabad Bill, 2017”. However, the committee has proposed some amendments in the bill.

The meeting of the NA body held at the National Institute of Science & Technical Education (NISTE), which will be upgraded to the university level. The meeting was chaired by Col (Retd) Dr Amirullah Marwat.

As per the proposed bill, the National Skills University (NSU) will have eight faculties initially providing technical education at degree level to students.

The faculties include Building Technology and Building Environment, Electro Technology, Mechanical and Automotive  Technology, Creative Industries and Business, Computing and Information Technology, Management and Communication Studies, Basic Sciences and Humanities, Teacher Education and any other faculty as considered by the university senate.

The University will offer degree programme at Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D level.

However, the legislative body recommended a few amendments in the proposed bill at the administrative level.

The chair for the appointment of Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university recommended that a ‘Search Committee’ should be constituted to find a suitable candidate for the top administrative position of the university. 

The chair recommended to include provision of 2/3rd majority in the syndicate of the university for exercising the executive powers by the Vice Chancellor (VC).

The NA body also recommended to include the agriculture related technical courses in the university.

The committee also discussed issues of regularisation and service structure of the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) employees. Chairperson NCHD Razina Alam Khan briefed the committee in this connection in detail.

The chairperson informed that salaries of NCHD employees till the month of August have been disbursed and the case of their regularisation is under consideration.

The members of committee inquired from the chairperson regarding discrimination being meted out to regular employees and appointment of contractual staff on senior positions.

Federal Minister for Education Baligh-ur-Rehman informed the committee that a Senate Sub-committee is looking into the issue while the department is also working on new service rules.

The committee recommended that the Education Minister and NCHD should look into the issues of NCHD employees and resolve the issue within two months and submit report to the committee accordingly.

The Vice Chancellor of Sargodha University briefed the Committee on annual budget for fiscal year 2016-17 and affiliation of sub-campuses and colleges with Sargodha University in detail.

He informed that around 200 colleges affiliated with Sargodha University have been declared null and void on not meeting the requirements and standards set by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The committee directed the Vice Chancellor Sargodha University to take action against the sub-campuses of the Sargodha University, which are not fulfilling the minimum requirements set by the HEC. 

Committee Member Dr Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti informed the committee that the university is unable to run its affiliated medical teaching hospital because of low budget. “If the university cannot run the facility it should be handed over to the Punjab government,” he said.

VC UoS Dr Ishtiaq Ali informed the committee that in eight months university canceled affiliation of 200 colleges and five sub-campuses on violating rules and regulations and not following the set criteria.

The committee also considered question asked by MNA Maulana Muhammad Gohar Shah regarding alleged illegal recruitments made in the Bacha Khan University, Charsadda by the Pro-Vice Chancellor despite restricting letter issued by the Higher Education Department (HED), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that all kind of recruitment process, including the already advertised positions in the respective university till the appointment of regular and new VC.

The incumbent VC of Bacha Khan University, Charsadda informed that the information provided to the committee during its meeting held on June 20, 2017 by the Additional Registrar and Acting Director QEC was not correct and submitted to the committee without his approval.

The committee directed the Executive Director, HEC to conduct an inquiry into the alleged illegal recruitments in the university and submit report to it within a month accordingly.

The meeting was attended by Dr Zulfiqar Bhatti, Amra Khan, Phyllis Azeem, Surriya Asghar, Surraiya Jatoi, Dr Shazia Sobia, Shahida Rehmani, Dr Imran Khattak, Dr Nikhat Shakeel Khan and Shahida Akhtar Ali MNAs and MNA Maulana Muhammad Gohar Shah.