A search committee tasked with suggesting heads for three federal universities has shortlisted 30 out of over 300 hundred applicants.
The seven-member search panel is tasked with recommending vice-chancellors at Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and a rector for the International Islamic University (IIUI). It initially received 369 applications for the three jobs.
The committee met at the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training on Tuesday to shortlist candidates and set interview criterion.
The committee consists of the education minister and secretary, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman, former federal secretary Dr UAG Isani, economist Dr Ishrat Hussain, COMSATS Rector Junaid Zaidi and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission member Dr Sara Safdar. Zaidi could not attend the meeting as he was out of country.
A participant of the meeting said that the 30 applicants will be interviewed near the end of August.
The three universities are currently operating with senior staff holding acting charges.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has finalised about 100 names for the appointment of heads of 10 bodies that fall under the ministry.
The affairs of the Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET) Islamabad, the Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC) Islamabad, the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) Karachi and others are being run by acting heads.
The Search committees interviewed over 400 candidates last week. About 100 people have been shortlisted to head the 10 organisations.
An official of the ministry told The Express Tribune that now, another committee headed by minister for science and technology, secretary, additional secretary, joint secretary, an official from Establishment Division will interview the candidates to further shortlist them and will send the names to the prime minister. “It is hoped that the next process will not take more than two weeks,” the official said.
The government is also considering separating Comsats Institute of Information Technology from the ministry and turning control over to the Higher Education Commission. Officials at the ministry, however, say they will resist the move since the institute is a research body and has been affiliated with the ministry since its inception.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2014.