The Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology in its meeting held on Monday was briefed by Rector COMSATS on the status of the University and its challenges. The Committee took strong notice of the absence of Minister for Science and Technology and asserted that if he fails to attend the next meeting, it will be called off in protest and privilege motion will be moved.
Chaired by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, the meeting was attended by Senator Gul Bashra, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Sassui Palijo Senator Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Senator Hidayatullah, Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, and senior officers from COMSATS University and Ministry of Science and Technology.
The Committee was informed of the University’s academic courses and distribution. The Organogram was discussed in great detail as well. It was observed that student enrolment had vastly increased from 277 in 2000 to 36599 in 2019. Faculty and Staff Strength had increased considerably as well. Currently total faculty entails 2792.
In terms of achievements the Committee was informed that the University has been involved in research and development of military hardware. It was also revealed that the University stands 14th amongst SAARC countries which is a great achievement. It has received several awards including two Global Good Governance Awards and 15 National Civil Awards.
In addition to various accolades to its credit, the University has been involved in numerous Advocacy Programs such as Plastic Free Pakistan, Smoke Free Pakistan and Green Campus. In addition to the above, COMSATS University is the first to introduce Hybrid Teaching in Pakistan. The Program was initiated in 2013. Rector COMSATS informed the Committee that the Plastic Free Islamabad Campaign was initiated by them.
While discussing budget issues it was revealed that 80 percent budgets is expended in salary, HEC support fund cut was observed to impact PKR 252 million, Inflation annual impact was estimated to be PKR 575 million. GOP allowance has been PKR 70 million. Senator Sassui Palijo said that a recommendation must be sent to the Ministry and a Resolution must be passed in this regard. Senator Sabir Shah said that the budget cut issue must be taken up solely in the next meeting. He recommended that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education must be summoned. It was asserted that issues of other science universities including NUST must be discussed as well.
Chairman Committee, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed declared that a single agenda meeting on budget will be conducted and recommendations of the VC Committee on the issue must be submitted to the Science and Technology Committee. Discussing curbs on foreign visits it was recommended to the Ministry that no such restrictions must be placed on the University because this is the only way to keep abreast of latest innovations in the field.