Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has denied any budgetary cut in the allocation of fund for Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan. Responding to the queries put forth by students and educationists, following his thorough presentation on “Education System of Pakistan: Challenges and Way Forward” organized by Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) on Thursday, he dismissed the news concerning slashing of HEC budgetary allocations.

Mehmood in the question and answer session said that the funds allocation to HEC and its other related schemes were being complemented by funding for several ongoing education schemes and projects under National Development Programs, by the incumbent government. He added that Rs. 65 billion were released in the previous fiscal year, while Rs.58 billion have been allocated for the current fiscal year, besides a considerable amount of funds for ongoing projects of HEC.

Responding to another question on lack of jobs prospects for PhDs in Microbiology and other subjects, the minister attributed the state of affairs to lack of planning. “This is an issue along with that of questionable quality of the degree holders,” he commented.

Mahmood said that he was of the view that Higher Education should be under control of the federal government and that he at the same time do believe that the governments should least interfere in matters related to higher education and research.

“Public policy and policy implantation is a very complicated process in our country and for this we have to rectify the system, “he said, while replying to a question related to recruitment and process and accountability of teachers.

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