LAHORE - The Higher Education Department Monday notified vice chancellors in two public sector universities including University of Sargodha (UoS) and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU).

Dr Uzma Quraishi whom the LHC removed from the LCWU VCship was notified as the VC for four years in the same varsity subject to the final decision on the representation of Dr Rukhsana Kausar who challenged Dr Quraishi’s position. Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad will lead Sargodha University.

Last year, Punjab Chief Executive Shehbaz Sharif had approved summaries for these VCs. After that the process was stopped because of the litigation in the Lahore High Court. Later, the court directed the Punjab government to appoint the VCs in the said universities from the panel of aspirants finalised by the search committees.

Commenting on the new development an HED officer requesting anonymity said that it would lead to further litigation. The cases of VCs appointed by the Punjab government on stop-gap arrangement were challenged in the LHC and some contestants also filed representations in the chancellor and the secretary office. The court after long ordered to remove the VCs posted by the government and directed to appoint others.

“LCWU VC Dr Quraishi whom the LHC had removed from the seat was again notified by the Secretary HED,” said the officer. The government should have waited for the decision on Dr Rukhsana Kausar’s representation filed on November 4 last year, he added. Moreover, Dr Quraishi’s candidature eligibility for the varsity headship has already been challenged in the LHC by Ghazala Naureen. Dr Quraishi’s shortage of experience and research publications mandatory to become a professor is challenged in the court.

While in case of the University of Punjab and the MNS-UET Multan, the sources said, as the committee was divided on one of the members on the panel - Dr Mujahid Kamran – the CM wanted to talk on the PU issue with the Secretary Law and the Secretary Higher Education Department.

There are different proposals on the PU VC issue either to forward the case to the search committee or call the candidate for another interview. 

Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar stands on the top of the list of the aspirants for the PU VC slot while Dr Mujahid Kamran and Dr Zakria Zakir, the other two candidates for the same office, are said to be disputed as they allegedly favoured their relatives one way or the other. Dr Mujahid Kamran also faces NAB inquiries reportedly pertaining to illegal recruitments and financial embezzlements.

The case for the MNS-UET VCship is also pending with the HED because some candidates raise objections on the provisionally appointed VC Dr Muhammad Zubair by the LHC saying he lacked the relevant degree in engineering.

When contacted the MNS-UET VC Dr Prof Dr Muhammad Zuber said that he completed his MSc and MPhil from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. Then he earned Ministry of Science and Technology scholarship and did his PhD in Polymer Science from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), USA.

This department is a part of Engineering School of CWRU and was ranked at the top of the Polymer Programs in the world. Here the students from different backgrounds, Mechanical Engineering, Material Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry study together for PhD degree.

A former HED secretary said that the department should have deliberated thoroughly before notifying the names for the VCs as it did in case of the MNS-UET Multan and PU cases. He said that it would be better to decide on the representations first because some serious allegations were pointed out in these representations to the governor otherwise more litigation would be the fate of seats of learning.