Federal government devolves five ministries to provinces

Published: April 5, 2011
The functions of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), except maintaining standards of higher education, are also being transferred to the provinces.

The functions of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), except maintaining standards of higher education, are also being transferred to the provinces.

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Government on Tuesday transferred five ministries, including the Ministry of Education, to the provinces under the devolution plan in the 18th Amendment.

A notification issued by the government stated the ministries of Education, Social Welfare and Special Education, Tourism, Livestock and Dairy, Rural Development and Culture have been transferred to the provinces.

According to sources, the Commission for Implementation of the 18th Amendment has also approved a plan for the transfer of three federal ministries, including Sports, Women Development and Environment, to the provinces in the third phase.

The Higher Eduction Commission is also being devolved to the provinces under the 18th amendment plan.

Students of Islamabad and Rawalpindi universities protested outside the office of the HEC demanding that the government take back the decision to devolve the body.

The protestors alleged that the devolution was an act of ‘revenge’ from the members of parliament, whose degrees had been sent to the HEC for verification. They were of the view that higher education in Pakistan will go back ten years back from this act of devolution.

Students on scholarships and employees of the HEC also joined the protests.

Students studying at Oxford University in England have also to written to Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan and expressed their concern over the issue asking the government to reconsider the devolution.

The functions of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), except maintaining standards of higher education, are also being transferred to the provinces after the re-drafting its Ordinance. Clauses of the HEC Ordinance which do not clash with the 18th amendment would remain untouched.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • xoxo
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:49PM

    What the hell is just wrong with this govt they should cutoff there luxurious expenses instead of doing all this, HEC is the only Department in Pakistan which is very sincere with there duties at the moment .Recommend

  • saleem
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:09PM

    Great Work by Raza Rabbani: He uphold the decision of 170 million people. Great applause to him and his committee. The Day of a Stronger Federation have started, provinces get long awaited autonomy.Recommend

  • Gill
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:34PM

    Fake degrees “KHAPPAY”Recommend

  • Silent Spectator
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:38PM

    This episode sends the message that parliamentarians are above the law in Pakistan. Anyone (including the people of Pakistan or HEC) who comes in their way or questions their actions, eventually gets crushed. Maybe I should stop criticizing the Government too? A great transition from democracy to demon-cracy, thanks PPP.Recommend

  • iblees
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:43PM

    on a related remote note, whats the point of writing “higher education commission” in roman urdu? i take this a sign of devaluing Urdu, a time when we can’t we translate “higher education commissions”. sad.Recommend

  • Copper
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:50PM

    A clear message who wanna mess up with Jamshed Dasti! Jaali degree khappay khappay khappay.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:50PM

    LOL :) we are so hopeless, and helpless, are we even humans?Recommend

  • umar farooq
    Apr 5, 2011 - 7:53PM

    federal government is enemy of pakistan Recommend

  • Hope QAU
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:04PM

    non phd were setting the rules for phd holders, its a great news. Weldone Rabbani Recommend

  • Umer
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:07PM

    Though I strongly support the provincial autonomy in its essence but the case of HEC is different. Higher Education is a Federal subject and in existing circumstances, it should remain so. Other countries in region also have similar federal institutions so HEC is not an exception. In existing circumstances, HEC devolution will only create a havoc and will stall the progress of higher education in PakistanRecommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 8:10PM

    what the hell this gov is doing ?they sell pakistan already nw what they want k we dnt do study also .stop doing this stupidity reduce ur expenses and change ur luxurious lifestyle.instead selling people of pakistan………………….Recommend

  • Habib R. Afridi
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:12PM

    HEC has been doing an excellent job in setting higher standards for education and this is direclty benefiting the students who can not affort to go abroad. Now the real problem is the childern of our politicians are already getting premier education in foreign countries, so why would be they worrying for any collapse in our local education.
    The most reliable degree attestation process from HEC is really a great pain for the MNAs/MPAs with fake degrees. This may be the only reason for the devolution of such a premier department.

    May I suggest to our dearest politicians, why don’t they remove the condition of graducation for becoming an MNA/MPA, instead of removing the whole department. They are in power and can do it easily. Both Mian Sharif and zordari will happily accept(from both sides there are people with fake degrees).
    This how the politicians will enjoy their seats and HEC will enjoy its premier work in research and education.Recommend

  • bemused rana
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:39PM

    Incredible that rather than reading and knowing the law all manner of inferences are drawn. The 18th amendment abolished the concurrent list and all ministries, including education have been devolved to the provinces. If this country is to stay together then provinces have to have the right to govern affairs, including higher education. Obviously those who were beneficiaries of the old system will resist. Ask those who belong to Sindh (outside Karachi), Balochistan or KP if they prefer this devolution or not? Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Every member of the national assembly should prefix their names with professor.
    No one will have the guts to check, and even if you were to try checking the government will verify it’s own degrees from now on so they will pass by default !!!!
    All hail Professor Jamshed Dasti, professor of Islamic studies, even though he didn’t know the names of the first two chapters of the holy quran. Well done.
    Well done the member of NA who finished High School at 10 years of age.
    Also congratulations to the politician who finished elementary school before high school, and high school before university.

    We believe in everything that you tell us.Recommend

  • Abdul Nasir Saggu
    Apr 5, 2011 - 8:47PM

    Central as well as Provincial Governments in Pakistan are sincerely doing their utmost to deprive children of common men deprived of education. This is what one can expect from selfish and corrupt politicians of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sana
    Apr 5, 2011 - 9:56PM

    Pakistan is the JAGEER of our Politicians!!
    We are Slaves, They can do whatever they want.
    We are Helpless???Recommend

  • truth speaks
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:18PM

    A good way for fake degree holders to stay in power….and rule 170 million population…Recommend

  • Shaheen
    Apr 5, 2011 - 10:23PM

    Why are the HEC bureaucrats spending government resources and misusing their governmental authority to lobby against the Constitution of Pakistan. Are we paying these BABUs to conspire against provinces and higher education.Recommend

  • Apr 5, 2011 - 11:26PM

    While i support the devolution of the higher education development and scholarship funds to the provinces, from the HEC, the setting of HE standards for institutions and the accreditation of institutions and degrees should remain with an independent central body such ofbthe HEC. That way higher education programs in Pakistan will be recognized as functioning under the same standard and be accepted internationally.

    Without a central accreditation and standards body like the HEC, international institutions will have to approach degrees from every province separately.Recommend

  • ox
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:38PM

    I my opinion its better to give these powers to the provincial Government.. as this shall enable the equal number of student going from each province… Regarding transparentness of the process i still doubt even in the federal i had seen many special cases…Without developing the R & D base in the universities who are spending more funds on the development of infrastructure.. how Dr. Atta ensure that these students would come back and serve the nation…. By publishing patent and scientific research paper what value they r giving to the industrial or technological advancement without physical implementation…. We need education at grass root level and one write Dr. Atta about the school that were forced to closed in interior of Sindh and he never responded… until and unless we educate ppl in villages and remote areas we cant change the system.. The HEC scholarships are for the ppl who r from the middle class families or above…

    We selected these MNA/MPA when we wanted to kick out Musaraf…now why we are complaining about democracy….we can even make this transparent at provincial level if we ready to challenge them…Recommend

  • Critical Observor
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:49PM

    This is a hitorical day for Pakistan. Long live Raza Rabbani! The democractic government of the nation is a god given gift for us and we hope it remains our guardian forever!Recommend

  • Hamad
    Apr 5, 2011 - 11:50PM

    Dear Media persons of Pakistan, trust us the HEC being devolved by Federal Government is one million times more Important issue then to Raymond Davis case. Therefore I urged media persons do tv talk shows as much as you did in Raymond Davis case or more even. Really we need your help dear media. Please help us as you did in Raymond Davis case. Save HEC. It is hope we will have better tomorrow. dont let them to take away our hope.Recommend

  • Axe
    Apr 6, 2011 - 1:12AM

    seems this government has joined Taliban in an anti-education campaign. They are after primary education by blowing up schools and as they were not able to blew up universities; therefore, government decided to ease their problem. cheersRecommend

  • azam
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:26AM

    What was HEC doing when the rector of NUML granted himself a Ph.D or capt Isani got Ph.D. from NUML while serving in QAU? , Marvi Sirmed Wrote on her TwitterRecommend

  • A R Khan, Wisconsin
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:10AM

    @bemused rana:
    I am from Baluchistan, and I am seriously opposed to this decision of devolving the HEC. HEC is probably the only good thing that happened to Pakistan’s higher education and it should NOT be broken down. Higher education in developing countries needs to be centrally planned and HEC has provided an excellent model for that, and it has received international acclaim for its efforts in promoting and standardizing higher education in Pakistan. Pakistan has a very serious knowledge deficit and HEC has been working very very hard for years to decrease that deficit. Of course it will take decades to actually bring Pakistan out of this deficit.

    It’s not a question of rights of other provinces here, because HEC’s criteria for selecting students for scholarships is purely on merit (i.e. it does not discriminate between students from different provinces). It’s a question of economic efficiency. There has to be a central body of education that not only promotes and standardizes education, but enhances the scope of education in the country. Pakistan does not have any synchronized education policy which is well functioning – the only exception is HEC working for Higher Edcuation in Pakistan. If you crush that too, it will be a big negative shock for the country’s higher education market, with long term impacts. Recommend

  • A R Khan, Wisconsin
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:16AM

    HEC is working for higher education in Pakistan, not primary schools/education at grass roots level. HEC serves a different level of education. Lack of education provision at the grass roots level is because Pakistan does not have an coordinated policy of education provision in villages. Primary school education provision has nothing to do with HEC.Recommend

  • Apr 6, 2011 - 3:48AM

    What safety clauses will be inserted to ensure that universities such as the Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University in Balochistan will continue to get their funds such that the future of 2000 plus women studying there and the faculty will not be affected. It would be tragic to see that the universities/schools in disadvantaged, remote and heavily indebted provinces are adversely affected as the resources are not protected in this frenzy of devolution without any transition measures put in place. Our precarious gains in education access from primary to tertiary level will be chopped off what to speak of possibilities for Quality! Remember we have an education emergency with only 1.5% of GDP going to education in FY 2010-2011!
    Baela Raza Jamil, Director Programs ITA and Concerned Citizen Recommend

  • naveed
    Apr 6, 2011 - 4:47AM

    ppp is a corrupt regime n they should b crushed as soon as possible before its too late to undo their bad deeds.. God bless Pakistan n its people.. lets stand now in their way its a perfect time… m going to collect my friends to file against this step.. if we could not do it today how shall we face our next generation that what v had done 4 them…Recommend

  • Saad H
    Apr 6, 2011 - 5:14AM

    seriously, this is probably the worst thing this government has done! Why would they want to break up the HEC! I guess those protesting were right, it may as well be to take revenge for the whole fake degree fiasco!Recommend

  • Tariq Ahmad
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:55AM

    I thought democracy means people get to vote, what is having a degree have to do with anything, this is crazy. If people want a monkey to be their rep, it is their right. They can kick out the personRecommend

  • hameed
    Apr 6, 2011 - 10:21AM

    The decision is according to law. if the education is transferred to provinces then there no need of HEC at federal level as is must be the part of Provence and each Provence must developed their own HEC. Good decision of present GOVT. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:30PM

    @bemused rana:
    This is not an argument about the consitution. Recently the PPP proposed making it a constitutional right for every child to have education. Is that even possible with the pitiful amounts the governement set asides for education?
    What we are arguing about is the real life implications of these changes.
    The natioanl assembly is made up of the feudal lords/ rich and powerful. If they whim that they want to destroy what little functions of our educational system, do the rest of us just surrender?
    Deveolving HEC will destroy a functioning system, increase nepotism/corruption (just look at the primary/secondary level education systems in our country – foreign governents/aid groups realise ploughing money into it is a waste and target private schools instead.). Money will simply get lost in the system, inefficincies introduced, less scholarships will be granted, with dysfunctional standards.
    The best scholars across the width and breadth of this land have argued against it.Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2011 - 3:34PM

    What/why will it be better under the provinces? What can they do better in comparison to the present set up?Recommend

  • MMM
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:35PM

    It is disheartening to know that one institution that was actualy performing in the public sector is now being axed by this people’s Government. Being a Regulatory body it needs to stay at the Federal level so that equal standards can be adopted and applied onto a University from Karachi to Khyber. The Universities have to get ranking on a uniform basis hence it is imperative that there is a national level body that treats all Universities equally. Apart from that there are umpteen reasons that we need the HEC for but I will leave it with a quote from George Bernard Shaw : A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.Recommend

  • Mohammad Fayyaz
    Apr 7, 2011 - 12:04PM

    @Silent Spectator:
    This devolution is timely. It was the need of the hour. Now this will improve school/college edcuation too. Attention will now be given to primary, secondary, and intermediate education too. No problems are involved. The decision is timely. People attached with the universities seem to have their ulterior motives.Recommend

  • Muhammad Tariq Khan
    Apr 18, 2011 - 2:58PM

    Work is devolution of all ministries and HEC is quite correct but schools at ICT after devolution of Federal Ministry of Education have been placed under Capital Administration and Development Division which is not fair as one example of CDA is already available. It should be governed either under the administrative control of P.M Secretriate or President Secretariate.


  • sadia
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:22AM

    could you plese tell me when they are going to start their work i need NOC FROM MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ,AND their worker are not working yet????plese plese let me know when they wil come on their duties?????Recommend

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