ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Senate Standing Committee on Education and Training on Wednesday gave go-ahead to three federal universities draft bill and referred them to Upper House for further discussion.
Executive Director of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar showed his concerns regarding criteria adopted for legislation but he was assured that all procedural requirements will be met.
The Upper House of the Parliament on Monday referred the draft bill regarding establishment of three private universities -- My University, the Dar-ul-Madina International University and the South Asian Strategic Institute University.
Chairman of the committee Abdul Nabi Bangash observed that education paved the way for socio-economic development. He said that consensus on the bills showed that the committee was taking keen interest in improving the quality of education in the country.
Sources in HEC said the National Assembly did not follow the standard legislative protocol and even in senate some politicians tried to pass the bill within a day.
An officer of HEC said that the bill for setting up universities, moved in the National Assembly on January 29, and passed the same day, had no in-put from the HEC.
On February 18, the bill was tabled in the senate but senator Raja Zafarul Haq criticised that it should be referred to the standing committee, he said.
“On February 19, notices were issued to members of the senate standing committee on education and training and the committee met on Wednesday and approved the draft of bill on the same day,” he said.
An HEC official, requesting anonymity, told Dawn that protocol requires the HEC’s input in order to ensure the quality of education institutions.
“We have to make sure that they have proper land arrangements, that they have funds for facilities, and so on. We have to check what kind of faculty they are planning to hire, and if they meet all these requirements, we can suggest that they be given a charter,” he said.
Executive Director HEC Dr Mukhtar while talking to Dawn said his only concern was fulfillment of all procedural requirements because if universities fail to award degrees after some years or they close, HEC will be held accountable for that.
“Participants of meeting assured me that all the procedural requirements will be met and approved the drafts of bills,” he said.