PESHAWAR: The Teaching Staff Association (TSA) of Islamia College University (ICU) on Tuesday opposed some clauses of the Universities Act Bill 2012 and demanded they be eliminated.
The bill had been passed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly on May 11 2012 amid objections by some MPAs.
TSA President Faisal Shehzad demanded that the ICU Peshawar Act 2009 or the concerned sections of the University of Peshawar Act 2011 be applied instead.
He maintained that complying with Section 9 (7) of the University Act 2012 – which says the chancellor shall act as the K-P governor acts under Article 105 of the constitution – will expose the institution to political interference. Regarding the effect of this clause, Faisal said the chancellor would abide only to the advice of the Chief Minister’s Cabinet in running university affairs and as such, the advice shall not be questioned before the court.
He pointed out Section 11 (5) (e) as well, which gives the vice chancellor the power to suspend, punish and remove officers, teachers and other employees of the university. The president said this gave unprecedented autocratic powers to the vice chancellor, who may abuse this authority for suppressing any dissenting voice. He proposed these powers go to an appointing authority.
He criticised Section 12 (8) as well, according to which the chancellor has to appoint someone in 15 days to work as an acting vice chancellor (VC) if the VC is unable to perform his or her duties for any reasons. This would mean anyone can be given the seat irrespective of merit, said Faisal.
Fasial said TSA has challenged the controversial clauses in the Peshawar High Court. He asked media to not project a negative image, saying it would shake the confidence of students and their parents in the institute.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.