ISLAMABAD: The selection committee, tasked to identify prospective candidates for the post of Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson, has finalised four names after deliberations spanning more than three months.
The six-member committee forwarded a summary in this regard to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who has nine days for a final approval. The post of HEC chairman has been vacant since April 15 this year after Dr Mukhtar Ahmed’s four-year term had ended.
The selection committee, meanwhile, met six times since January 23, the day it was formed. It interviewed more than 100 academicians between April 19 and 21, and chose the following four candidates:
The University of Utah professor, Tariq Banuri, tops the list. He holds a PhD degree in economics from Harvard University. Banuri completed his M.A in development economics from Williams College after finishing Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the University of Peshawar.
Banuri is the author of 20 books in addition to more than 30 research papers.
He is the former vice chancellor of Islamia University, Bahawalpur who served as a professor of biotechnology. He was also the chairman of a department at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. He finished his masters and MPhil degrees in biochemistry from Pakistan and obtained a PhD degree in biosciences from the Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US.
Another search committee shortlisted five candidate, including Mukhtar, for the new VC of the Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (FUAST).
A close associate of former chief of the HEC Dr Attaur Rehman, Chaudhry is currently working as director of an institute at the University of Karachi. With expertise in Medicinal Chemistry, Phytochemistry, he has authored 30 books and produced more than 100 research papers.
Anwarul Hasan Gilani
He is currently working as chairperson of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology.
The selection committee forwarded the summary to the PM on Friday night and it is expected that the PM would approve it within a week, ostensibly before the end of the government’s tenure.
If the new chief is not appointed by the incumbent government, the appointment will be deferred for at least three more months.
The six-member selection committee included former health minister Dr Sania Nishtar, former lawmaker Shahnaz Wazir Ali, educationists Faisal Bari and Mirza Qamar Baig and secretary education Akbar Durrani. Renowned educationist Syed Babar Ali was the convener of the committee.