Sindh govt directs VCs not to attend HEC meeting

KARACHI: The planned meeting of vice-chancellors of universities in the country called by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan in Lahore has hit snags as the Sindh government has directed the VCs of universities in the province not to attend.

The provincial government has adopted the stance that Centre is unnecessarily interfering in the matters of the province. According to the Sindh government, after the 18th Amendment, the affairs of varsities had been handed over to the provinces and the federal government’s institutions including the HEC had no authority to interfere in the varsities’ affairs.

According to informed sources, the HEC had called the meeting to discuss a proposal regarding division of powers over varsities. The proposal suggested that authority over some issues of varsities be vested with the HEC while dominion over other areas be given to the provincial governments. The VCs were called by the HEC to seek their views regarding the proposal.

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However, the relevant department of the Sindh government asked all the VCs of the varsities of Sindh not to attend the meeting, stating that issues that were to be discussed in the meeting were already taken up by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).The provincial government maintained that the HEC had no legal authority to call such a meeting and it had violated the mandate of CCI by doing so. The last meeting of CCI was held in the federal capital on December 28, 2017. The council has formed a committee to resolve varsities’ issues.

A meeting has also been called by the provincial universities and boards department under the additional chief secretary at Jinnah Sindh Medical University at 12pm today (Thursday) to discuss the issue.

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