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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Here’s how Pakistani universities can make it to top 100 QS world ranking (part II)

According to Dr. Zohaib Zahid, an Assistant Professor at Islamia University, the process of hiring teachers and professors in universities must be revisited and upgraded as the illegal recruitment of teachers not only tarnishes the image of the universities concerned but also the nation in a broader sense.

The unnecessary delay in the decisions creates resentment to the aggrieved parties but delay in the implementation of the verdicts delivers a loud message to all and sundry that the holy cows do exist in our society who are above the law.

Generally, the deferment in decisions and, specifically, the implementations are the biggest obstacles for our universities to achieve excellence and secure a position in the top hundred universities of the world.

A number of complaints remain pending before various forums (As explained in part I) and, a few that are decided, face an unnecessary delay in execution. The implementation of the verdicts must be executed within no time to ensure justice. Desires are nourished by delays in decisions or the implementations by the concerned offices.

Read more: Here’s how Pakistani universities can make it to top 100 QS world ranking (part 1)

Maladministration and illegal recruitments

The statistical analysis of the universities of Pakistan since 1947 reflects that the majority of the complaints filed against various Vice-Chancellors contain the subject matter of maladministration and illegal recruitments with no exception to the present era. Modern technology and the 21st century have miserably failed to improve the process of recruitment that has devastated our higher education system.

To improve quality education and place various universities of Pakistan in QS world ranking, the process of hiring teachers and professors in the universities must be revisited and upgraded as the fake appointment of teachers not only tarnishes the image of the universities concerned but the nation in a broader sense.

Read more: Illegal recruitments scam: NAB Arrests ex-PU VC, five registers

The vice-chancellors and their bedfellows, when declared guilty by the apex forums (Honorable Courts, Higher Education Commission, Higher Education Departments of the provinces, Chief Ministers’ offices, Federal and provincial Ombudsman offices, and Competent authorities), must not be allowed to stay in the prestigious offices as their presence not only disgrace the dignity of the offices but become a permanent source of embarrassment for the governments (Federal and Provincial) too.

Once the top-ranked officials receive signals of their being penalized after certain decisions holding them responsible for maladministration and illegal recruitments, they endeavor to drag time in order to victimize and settle their scores with all the employees who, time and again, keep raising their voices against corruption.

The victimization of employees places a barrier to achieve excellence in research as the researcher under pressure cannot perform best. The development of the universities turns to be a nightmare when the top-notch officials keep thinking about how to secure a safe passage for them to avoid the implementation of the verdicts.

Read more: Why Pakistan’s research sector needs urgent attention

The statistical analysis of various forums including the Ombudsman reveals that a number of high officials in various universities, including the Vice-Chancellors, have been proven guilty of maladministration and illegal recruitments but the implementation of such decisions is being deferred for some unknown reasons causing mayhem and distrust in the supremacy of the law.

Importance of implementing decisions

If timely decisions are important, their implementation is vital. The matter of illegal recruitments is the highest among all the crimes ever committed by the heads of the universities as the one illegal appointment of an inept teacher impedes the growth of the intellectual capacity of the students.

The implementation of the orders of the honorable courts, Ombudsman, and Chancellors’ offices is the core responsibility of the federal and the concerned provincial governments. The governments and Higher Educations Departments (HEDs) of the provinces must not delay the execution of the orders because the data of the complete academic year is collected for QS ranking.

Any head or other high-ranked official of the university if proven guilty and knows his days are numbered, will only waste time in self-projection and futile effort to prove himself innocent. The delay in implementation of the orders pushes back the universities to secure positions in the top hundred and three hundred universities of the world in QS ranking.

Read more: VC University of Balochistan resigns; will independent inquiry be conducted now?

What needs to be done?

Higher Education Departments (HEDs), Ombudsman, Chancellor, and CM offices need to be connected through the internet to develop a speedy system to resolve the issues of implementation of the orders issued by various apex forums.

A number of letters and summaries keep moving from one office to another causing an unnecessary delay that provides space for the plunderers to accumulate ill-gotten wealth, illegal recruitment, and maladministration which ultimately lowers down the pace of research in the universities.

The police and school education departments of Punjab and KPK have established centers not only to address the grievances of the people, employees, and students but promote self-accountability within the respective departments.

A common employee and citizen have every right to file a complaint against any misadventure of any high-ranked officer but, ironically, the universities have not established any such online system and the governments never instructed the Higher Educations Departments (HEDs) and the universities to establish open forums of self-accountability.

Read more: Protecting the accountability process – Ikram Sehgal

A few of the universities have established online systems within the universities but to address only the petty issues of leaves, scholarships, etc. and that, too, move in accordance with the will of the high ranked officials of the concerned universities.

The establishment of an online system under the direct command of federal and provincial governments is the need of the time as it will not only eradicate maladministration but help the respective governments to calculate the performance of the universities at one click.

Three years of PTI government have passed and none of the universities could manage to get in the top three hundred of QS world ranking which is alarming for the government as the prime focus of PM Imran Khan was on education and health before general elections 2018.

PM Imran Khan and Federal Education Minister Mr. Shafqat Mahmood need to pay special attention to the deplorable situation of the universities by developing mechanisms for the rapid growth of quality research and to halt all those from further recruitments who have already been proven guilty to appoint their favorite ones.

Read more: Universities in Pakistan need Imran Khan’s special attention

Dr. Zohaib Zahid is an Assistant Professor at Islamia University Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan Campus. His Twitter handle is: @ChaudaryZohaib.The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.