Islamabad - The governing body of Higher Education Commission (HEC) has rejected a panel of names forwarded by the regulatory body for the appointment of executive director.

The governing body also directed the HEC to re-advertise the post to find a suitable candidate of high calibre.  The 17-member commission, the governing body of the HEC, met in its 30th meeting here on Wednesday.

The meeting reviewed the recommendations of the HEC’s Selection Board for appointment of executive director and observed that keeping in view the importance of the position, experience and professional credentials of the applicants were not commensurate with the record of leadership profile and eminence essential for the post of stature of the executive director HEC. The governing commission, therefore, decided to re-advertise the post to seek best possible professionals and attract wider competition.

According to officials, it is for the first time in the history of HEC that three names selected by a committee were rejected by the Commission members.

The post of ED has been lying vacant since April 2014 along with other key positions in the HEC. The governing commission in its meeting in September 2014 had directed the HEC to advertise the position to end the culture of ad-hocisim.

The position of MP-I Scale holds great importance, as the ED, principal accounting officer, is supposed to manage the affairs of Rs 64 billion HEC budget and 168 public and private sector universities.  

Regarding the issue of setting up a testing body, it was recommended that a consortium of the top universities, one from each province, will be constituted to devise and conduct tests required for admission to HEC MPhil/MS/PhD programmes as well as under HEC scholarship projects as interim arrangements. Meanwhile, HEC may re-advertise for selection of an appropriate local or international testing service provider.

The board also gave approval for the national technology council byelaws.

After deliberations it was agreed upon that degrees of University of East would be validated till January 1, 2011 as per the Commission’s decision taken in the 24th meeting held on November 30, 2010.

As for the panel of nominees for commission members of HEC, the commission recommended a few new names for revision. Twenty-five per cent increase in tenure track pay package was also discussed and endorsed by the commission which will be forwarded to the finance division for consideration.

Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed shared the successes of HEC in current fiscal year and informed the members that HEC had completed all its targets set forth with Rs 63 billion budgetary outlay. An additional amount of Rs 10 billion released last week will greatly help early completion of pending projects that had suffered fur to cut in funds.

The meeting was attended by Muhammad Imtiaz Tajwar, Secretary Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Kamran Ali Qureshi, Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology, Irum Bokhari, Secretary Higher Education Department, Government of Punjab,  Abdul Saboor Kakar, Secretary Secondary Education Department, Government of Balochistan, Dr Nilofer Shaikh, former VC Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, Engineer Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gillani, VC University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Engineer Ahmad Farooq Bazai, VC Balochistan University  of Information and Technology, Engineering and Management, Quetta, and  Dr Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Executive Director HEC. The meeting was chaired by Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, HEC Chairman.