HEC devolution challenged in SC

Published: April 9, 2011
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Bench headed by CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry to hear petition against devolution on April 11.

Bench headed by CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry to hear petition against devolution on April 11.

ISLAMABAD: A petition was filed against the devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday.

The petition, filed by Arshad Ali Chaudhry, prays that the devolution of the HEC to the provinces is unconstitutional and unlawful. The petitioner also requested the court to declare all actions taken for the devolution of HEC contrary to the constitution null and void.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will hear the petition on April 11.

The Higher Eduction Commission is being devolved to the provinces under the 18th amendment plan. The functions of the  HEC, except maintaining standards of higher education, are also being transferred to the provinces after the re-drafting its Ordinance, clauses which do not clash with the 18th amendment will remain untouched.

The HEC chairman Javaid Laghari had earlier termed the devolution of the body as unconstitutional.

Laghari said the HEC had constitutional protection and was an autonomous body. He stated that the commission was not part of the concurrent list, hence it could not be devolved.

He further claimed that HEC authorities were not taken into confidence before the announcement of devolution despite repeated requests to the constitutional amendment committee.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Tehmina
    Apr 9, 2011 - 6:45PM

    Finally!!!! Some one has taken the initiative to challenge this unfair decision. Hope and pray that a just solution is found for all the stake holders. Recommend

  • Apr 9, 2011 - 6:53PM

    How are tell me ?
    and have a good time in FutureRecommend

  • Shaheena
    Apr 9, 2011 - 8:01PM

    HEC devolution is being done under the 18th Constitutional amendments and Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to annul the constitutional amendment. But given the fact, smaller provinces are not duly represented, SC may not be able to understand the empathize the under-development of smaller provinces. Under the 18th Constitution, only development of standards comes under the preview of Federal Legislation and not the higher education. It would create systematic discrepancy if the Federal HEC is allowed with its present functions of Keeping Higher Education at Center and primary education in Provinces. How provinces will work with primary education and Center with higher education. And people from smaller provinces and rural areas will not be able to attain HEC opportunities only candidates from Urban elites will gain.Recommend

  • H I
    Apr 9, 2011 - 8:23PM

    Some wonderful jobs that musharaf did during his tenure also include,

    1) Freedom to press
    2)Introduced HEC system.
    He was a true patriot.Cant we vote him to power again,and get rid of this political maphia.
    Where have sensible Pakistanis vanished who support this rotten government.Wake up people bring back Musharaf to power and rise to glory.Recommend

  • Dr. Ali
    Apr 9, 2011 - 8:54PM

    @Shaheena:
    What nonsense….18th amendment is not a divine scripture… it is agreed upon by human beings with dubious credentials … and it is to protect their dubious credentials that they have decided to devolve HEC.. to say that HEC is only to benefit the elite is preposterous… there have been 100s of students whom i know are from lower middle class and poor families who benefited from HEC’s scholardhip program… sadly not many people including you have the vision or intellectual capital to understand the pivotal role of HEC in building the higher education sector in this country… come up with a logical and factual reason next time if you want to defend the pathetic policies of the current government..Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Apr 9, 2011 - 8:55PM

    Education worldwide is a provincial subject. As motorway is a federal subject worldwide so in Pakistan we also changed this from provincial to federal. Now due to this we have the best motorway & motorway police. We have to look at economic, productivity and performance in 21st century rather than bureaucratic or political interests. I as a citizen of Pakistan and global independent educationist after detailed analysis came to decision that HEC as education should be provincial subjectRecommend

  • Javed
    Apr 9, 2011 - 9:49PM

    Good!! Its better now Supreme court will decide the future of HEC. I suggest they should make similar kind of organization for Primary education also. Recommend

  • tee
    Apr 9, 2011 - 11:08PM

    @ Iftikhar saab please dont talk about global in this condescending manner. keep the corrupt mafia in mind and why HEC’S survival is against their ulterior motives . the primary pass leadership we have is primarily concerned with saving their …. it has nothing to do with federal or provincial or whatever. and by the way what are provinces capable of? what will they deliver? failed schemes like ‘perha likha primary pass’ punjab? the pathetic state of government education we are giving in Punjab and other provinces is a testimony of that…they are not capable of conducting matric exams sanely,… and you think theyll invest in higher education properly? Iftikhar Saab, keep the context in mind. this isnt Inglistaan or Amerikkaaa this is poor Pakistan, sadly threatened, maimed and ravaged by a group of blood sucking vultures.Recommend

  • truth speaks
    Apr 9, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Wonderful…. Finally the freedom of expression and true democratic values will strengthen its influence over so called democratic policy makers and politicians….Recommend

  • Blithe
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:00AM

    The 18th amendment is nothing but a way to increase corrrupton (including fake degrees) and appease Bacha Khan’s “Khybe Pukhtoonwa”.

    The proincial beauracy is a million times more corrupt! Recommend

  • Sohaib Khan
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:11AM

    @Iftikhar Ahmad:

    What in your ‘Global’ view higher education is under provincial jurisdiction? According to Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, countries are now creating ministry of higher education under the federal government, how come you conclude that this should be a provincial subject. I think people should understand a difference between education and higher education! Recommend

  • Amilsa
    Apr 10, 2011 - 1:27AM

    How comes there is no corruption in federal bureaucracy and HEC. HEC politicized fake degree issue. You guys do not know how HEC blackmailed scholarship holders and how they put their names on ECL. It is an institution and it should work in any circumstances, federal or provincial. Why provincial governments cannot handle it while federal can – are these angels? You all abused Musharraf – now face the music. They are politicians, they got elected by us, they have the right to make changes in the constitution. When you do not have that authority why you challenge the authority given to others. This is the biggest problem with our nation. We always criticize the things which are out of our jurisdiction. Let politicians do their work. When you can do something, make decisions. Parliamentarians approved the 18th amendment all together and they have the right to do so. We need to accept this truth.Recommend

  • Anwar Mahar
    Apr 10, 2011 - 3:03AM

    We all should support to HEC being a part of Federal Govt. institution. From 2007 HEC have produced Phd doctors more than what was since partition. All credit goes to Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman. Recommend

  • Aamer
    Apr 10, 2011 - 3:15AM

    @Iftikhar Ahmed,

    Can please share a copy of your detailed analysis, upload it to a Scribd or any place you like so we can all read it. Please also let us know your credentials as an Educationist in the same document.

    RegRecommend

  • TRUE PAK
    Apr 10, 2011 - 3:45AM

    the 18 amendment was passed by fake degree holders.
    HEC is probably the best organization of pakistan but the fake degree holders want to drag it to the level of steel mill,railway,pia,wapda etc. After the devolution a lot of money marked for HEC can be pocketed by the corrupt mafia and the rest used to send thier incompetent kids to foreign universities.
    The only problem i see currently with HEC is the a lot of money goes into it but the politicians cant get any of it for themselves.
    I m for an honest dictator rather than a democraticaly elected govt corrupt to the core.Recommend

  • samar baloch
    Apr 10, 2011 - 5:12AM

    To the people who did it !
    Can’t control it? Destroy it.
    No need to keep it hanging above your head. HEC has been one of the greatest pains for you.
    In fact you people did a great peice of work and right on time. But for these vultures, the other pain still remains, the Supreme Court. Please devolve (in fact desolve) it as soon as possible.
    There should be no central Supreme Court, it also gives continuous pain specially to you and our president. There should be only provincial supreme courts with limited powers within their respective provinces. The governement, including our president, should enjoy the fullest immunity that can’t be challenged anywhere

    For now celebrate the devolution of HEC, enjoy your degrees, best of luck!Recommend

  • Sameer Haider
    Apr 12, 2011 - 8:04PM

    The hoopla has been constructed such that one tends to confuse higher education with the existence of the HEC. A reality check might help in removing this muddle. The HEC was born out of the sperm of a dictatorial regime and the womb of a fund-starved body, the University Grants Commission (UGC), working since 1974. Like all dictators in Pakistan, the last one too was obsessed with a centralised polity — a strong centre with little autonomy to the provinces. This has now been transformed into our collective psyche to undermine coalescing units as is evident from arguments currently given against the HEC’s devolution. The popular arguments against the HEC’s devolution range from a concern for higher education in Pakistan, freezing of foreign aid for higher education in the absence of the HEC, halting ongoing scholarships, lack of coordination among and check on universities, etc. One has to admit the successful propaganda machine against the devolution by HEC beneficiaries and planners. The HEC authorities used the rumor factory to propagate confusion about the issue. Rumors about the freezing of foreign aid for studying abroad were unleashed in the media, which was readily refuted by the biggest HEC donor, USAID that made clear that their $ 250 million support still stands. The most vicious step that the HEC arbitrarily took was halting ongoing scholarships, just to spread panic and confusion among the students. Sadly, it worked. Without even slight understanding of the issue or any inclination to probe the facts, general opinion tilted in the direction the vested interest group wanted it. Recommend

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