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Event Title: Senator Irfan-Ul-Haque Siddiqui, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education & Professional Training Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-12-04

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training chaired by Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui was held today at Parliament House.  The committee unanimously passed the Private Members’ Bill titled “The Islamabad Capital Territory Student Unions Bill, 2023,” introduced by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi. Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui, the chairman of the committee said that instead of grouping based on ethnicity, provinces, or other considerations, healthy activities must be encouraged in the educational institutions for which the student union is a good platform.

The chairman of the committee while addressing the distinctions between TTS (Tenure Track System) BPS (Basic Pay Scale) mentioning the absence of a service structure for the technologists and their promotion policy suggested that if these aspects do not align and protests persist, the conflict will persist. Thereby, merging the two might resolve the discord.

While discussing the Disposal of Public Petition regarding the placement of PhDs, the Committee members engaged in a comprehensive discussion about the IPFP agreement and laws conflicting with the proceedings and disengagement of PhD scholars from the University of Swabi. Committee members expressed concerns about the exclusion of employees who have served for five years without any replacement. A volunteer from one of the concerned universities also pleaded his case, stating that, in the situation, all the PhD scholars recruited under IPFP Program were terminated following a court proceeding. The chairman of the committee emphasized the need to address this matter. The Chairman of the Higher Education Commission may come up with a viable solution in consultation with all stakeholders and report the solution to the Committee.

Additionally, the committee expressed concerns about the delay in the Private Members Bill and the Protection of Family Life and Wedlock Bill 2023. The committee highlighted the issue that, despite being passed by both Houses and approved, the Protection of Family Life and Wedlock Bill is not traceable and is misplaced. The committee unanimously decided to report the case to the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs as per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training presented its progress on the compliance report by the Chairman of the Higher Education Commission and Pakistani chairs abroad, emphasizing their active engagement with the matter. The Committee Chairman directed keeping regular reporting on the progress of Pakistani Chairs Abroad to the Committee.

Similarly, the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training presented its efforts regarding the recommendations of the Committee held on 9th October 2023. The Ministry stated that it has regularized the services of 137 teachers in Federal Directorate of Education, as notified by the ex-Capital Administration and Development Division, while 71 notifications are under process. The Committee also highlighted the non-payment of salaries to the reinstated teachers and directed that the Ministry may come up with a detailed report regarding payments of salaries to the reinstated teachers.

Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani expressed concerns about the absence of a service structure for technologists and requested a prompt solution. The Chairman of the Higher Education Commission applauded the role of Senator Ruksana Zuberi and Chairman Engineering Council and stated that the Pakistan Engineering Council has agreed in principle to have no objection over awarding equal status to the technologists as per the Sydney Accord.

Regarding the re-examination of the law students of Bahauddin Zakariya University, the Vice Chancellor of the university stated that they have conducted a re-examination of all students from 2015 to 2017, while the case of students from 2018 to 2021 is subjudice in the Supreme Court, which will also be re-examined. The members of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training also mentioned that the report from HEC on the re-examination of Law Students at Bahauddin Zakariya University has been resubmitted. Likewise, concerning the HEC report on the recognition and attestation of degrees, the Chairman of the Committee endorsed the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training regarding a special session of the Higher Education Commission for reviewing the issues of degrees attestation of students of different universities on a case-by-case basis, granting a one-time dispensation. The Committee directed the Higher Education Commission to take legal action against all unlawful institutes/universities operating across the country.

The committee was attended by Senator Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani, Senator Falak Naz, Senator Engr. Ruksana Zuberi, Senator Fawzia Arshad, Senator Maulvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, Ministry of Law and Justice officers and Ministry for Federal Education and Professional Training officers.