Comsats senate meets under a cloud

Science and technology ministry allegedly rejected requests for teachers body to hold elections ahead of a meeting

Zaigham Naqvi March 08, 2019

ISLAMABAD: After being approved by the president, the first meeting of the new Senate of Comsats University is expected to take place early next month.

However, it has become controversial after an election of the teacher's body was allegedly halted.

President Arif Alvi, who is the chancellor of the university and has approved the Senate of the varsity, is expected to chair the April 4 meeting. As per a notification issued by the Science and Technology Ministry, the president had exercised his discretionary powers under the Comsats Act 2018, to set up this body.

Other members of the Senate include two pro-chancellors including the Minister for Science Technology, Comsats executive director, and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman. Further, ex-officio members including secretaries of Science and Technology and Education ministries along with a pro-rector — as proposed by the rector — will be part of the Senate.

Further, the Senate will have some four education specialists including Bakhtiar Khan, Wahajus Siraj, Lieutenant General (retired) Imran Majeed and Dr Navedus Zafar. Sonia Shamroz will be the alumni member while Dr Najma Najam and Dr Navid Malik will serve as the Academic Community members.

Further, four elected teachers from the university will also get seats in the Senate. Two lawmakers, including Senator Engineer Rukhsana Zuberi of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Andleeb Abbas, will also be part of the body.

Meanwhile, sources have disclosed that the Science and Technology Ministry secretary has reportedly rejected an application filed by teacher bodies to grant permission for their elections apart from approving their rules and regulations before the Senate meeting.

However, the secretary has allegedly rejected the request due to which elected representatives of the varsity’s teachers could fail to find representation in the inaugural meeting of Comsat’s senate.

Capital school funds

Schools being run by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will could be provided with up to Rs1.5 million.

This was disclosed by FDE Director General Dr Ali Ahmed Kharral while addressing the oath taking ceremony Federal Government (FG) Heads Association at the Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) in Sector G-9/4 on Thursday.

"We have proposed that the authorities concerned allocate a budget of Rs0.4 million to Rs0.5 million for primary schools, while a million rupees will be allocated for secondary schools and Rs1.5 million for higher secondary schools,” he said.

Free books distribution

The Punjab Education Department has started distributing books to students at the 52,000 schools across the province

All schools at the primary, middle, high and high secondary level can avail this facility.

Heads of schools in Rawalpindi District can collect free course books from the Denise Higher Secondary School from March 9 to March 12, according to the number of students registered at their respective schools from Montessori to grade VIII.

Further, these books will be distributed amongst the students from April 1.

New students who join the schools from April 1 will not be able to benefit from this policy as the schools are registering students for free which are currently studying in their schools. Thus, the new students will be compelled to purchase books from the open market.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2019.

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