After postponing the decision for several months, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training has finally announced four overseas fellowship positions for talented teaching professionals all over the country to represent Pakistan internationally.

Per details, fellowship and chair positions advertised and announced by the ministry include Quaid-e-Azam Distinguished Professorship at Columbia University, Pakistan Studies Fellowship at Tehran University, Allama Iqbal Fellowship at Heidelberg, Germany and Quaid-e-Azam Fellowship at Oxford University.

The eligibility criteria for the positions includes PhD degrees in Pakistan studies, Urdu, history, Iqbalyaat or other relevant subjects of social sciences, at least seven years of teaching and research experience at a recognized university or research institute and at least eight research publications published in journals recognized by the Higher education commission.

The ministry set up the age eligibility up to 60 years in order to accommodate senior research scholars. Moreover, the candidates are required to have exceptional command over the language in which the relevant subject is to be taught by the scholar. The appointment tenure for the chairs was fixed to three years initially, with subject to yearly evaluation of the scholar’s performance.

According to a senior official in the ministry, one-year extension lead after the completion of the fellowship is also allowed as per the law to the scholar. However, he added, this extension would be granted solely on the basis of the performance of the scholar during the fellowship tenure. The prime minister, per law, has the authority to confer such extensions if needed. “The contracts can be cancelled even after one year if the performance of the selected scholar in the respective varsity is not satisfactory,” the official added.

After conducting the initial scrutiny and interviews of the selected scholars, the summary of the candidates deemed eligible for the respective posts would be referred to the prime minister through the ministry of education, who will then give a go-ahead in relation to the final selections.

As per the sources, the government has allotted Rs 12 million for the initial six months tenure, stating that the rest of the budget for the chairs would be sanctioned in the upcoming annual budget in June 2019.

The total initial number of fellowship positions were 14, which was later reduced to four due to financial limitations by the federal government.

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