Financial transparency in the administrative matters at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi is unquestionable, as all institutions working under the umbrella of the ICCBS – University of Karachi are regularly audited by the relevant audit authorities, and represent the best examples of prudent financial management.
Similarly, performance audit and evaluation of the center are routinely carried out by the top foreign scientists.
The ICCBS – University of Karachi is the academic research institution, which is truly regarded as a national asset and deserves to be appreciated by true academics. However, some people intentionally or unintentionally are trying to discredit the country’s leading academic institutions having international stature, which is really a matter of concern for every Pakistani.
Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, and COMSTECH Coordinator General, expressed these views while speaking at a press conference held at the ICCBS – University of Karachi on Monday.
Prof. Iqbal Choudhary said that the ICCBS was an academic research institution with the primary mission to train scholars at the post-graduate levels (M.Phil. /Ph.D.). He said, “The ICCBS comprises three institutions, including H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, and Third World Center for Chemical Technology. Two of them were established from the private sector donation.”
The center has been able to win international and national grants which is undeniable proof of its excellence, he said.
Refuting the claim that ICCBS – University of Karachi was established for the discovery and development of drugs, he said that this academic center had been working as an academic research institution with the prime task to train scholars at the post-graduate levels. The graduates of the ICCBS are serving at top positions in industries and academic institutions home and abroad, he said.
He also mentioned that the faculty of the international center have received more honors and awards nationally and internationally from home and abroad.
It is unfortunate that some people are writing against this world-class institution and trying to malign an institution that is the recognition of Pakistan in the world of science, he said.
Talking about the achievements that the international center acquired during the last few decades, he said the center was recognized for its high-quality research reflected from the fact that the works of the scientists and scholars had been cited over 300,000 times in the last five years. The academic and research contributions of the center are openly presented on its website (www.iccs.edu), he said, adding that this center has triple recognition of UNESCO Center of Excellence, WHO Collaborating Center, and OIC Center of Excellence.
A large number of foreign scholars are visiting the center for training, including from western countries, he said. Along with academic excellence, this institution is also serving the pharmaceutical, chemical, and food industries through Industrial Analytical Center, the Center for Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research, as well as Sindh Forensic DNA Laboratory, he said.
The center has played a very important role in the national flight against COVID-19, he said, and maintained that the National Institute of Virology, the only institute in the field of viral diseases, has conducted over 0.35 million COVID tests, monitored the genome sequencing of delta variants.
Prof. Iqbal Choudhary also refuted the false allegations by Dr. Tariq Banuri that he was removed from the position of Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman because he had questioned their research output.
He lamented that HEC had subtracted more than Rs200 million in its annual grant for the center. However, grants worth over Rs850 million have been decreased to Rs650 million, he said, adding that the grants were diminished despite increasing wages and inflation. The support which ICCBS received from the government is far less than similar centers in India, Iran and other countries, he said.
He said, “ICCBS – University of Karachi believes in transparency therefor this institution has always been ready for audit.”
The performance audit of the institute will be welcomed if it would be conducted by eminent scientists of international repute, he said.