As the tenure of the chairperson of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) expires on December 16, the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) has sent a summary to the Punjab chief minister to appoint an acting PHEC chairperson until the post is advertised and a new head is appointed
Per sources close to the development, three names have been forwarded to the chief minister to fill the vacant post until a permanent chairperson is appointed. The sources, however, said among three names, Lt General (r) Muhammad Akram Khan was likely to assume the charge of the PHEC as its acting chairperson
The acting PHEC chairperson is expected to take charge by Monday, December 17, while the advertisement is expected to be floated by the HED in a few weeks.
According to the Punjab Higher Education Commission Act 2014, “If the office of the Chairperson is vacant due to any cause, the Controlling Authority may nominate any member of the Commission as Chairperson for a maximum period of three months during which period the Controlling Authority shall appoint a Chairperson.”
The commission of the PHEC consists of 17 members and three of the 17 names were chosen to be sent to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, as he is the controlling authority of PHEC. The three names included Lt General (r) Muhammad Akram Khan, Prof Dr Najma Najam and Prof Dr Khaleequr Rehman.
The PHEC was established in 2014, however, it began operations in 2015 following a formal inauguration by then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin was appointed its first chairperson on December 16, 2014 for a term of four years.
Earlier, it was being speculated that Dr Nizam would be re-appointed without any delay, but, Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz later clarified that the government intended to re-advertise the post. However, the former chairperson is also in the race for being appointed the PHEC chairperson for a second term, as the law allows two terms to a single candidate. He is still considered a strong candidate owing to his influential political and academic network.
Meanwhile, Dr Nizam received a farewell from his colleagues at the University of Education on December 15 (Saturday).