The chairman of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan Prof Dr Tariq Banuri while responding to the press conference of Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary held on Monday has said that the ICCBS leadership has always demanded that they should be audited by individuals acceptable to them. They often refer to so-called evaluations conducted by unspecified individuals chosen by them. HEC has already responded in writing to ease their anxiety about an independent audit. HEC reminded them that all professionals accepted independent audits and did not try to rig the jury in their favor.

HEC is also in agreement with the ICCBS leadership’s request to be audited by eminent scientists of international repute. In this regard, since the ICCBS has not produced any scientific results of significance, pretty much any decent scientist would be better than them.

The ICCBS always tries to hoodwink policymakers by invoking its special status as a Category 2 UNESCO center. These centers are not part of UNESCO but are a network of institutions that provide capacity building. These are selected on the request of countries, and not through some international competitive process. The UNESCO website lists three Pakistani institutions as Category 2 centres, the other two are in Abbottabad and Rawalpindi, but you’ll never hear them making a song and dance about their “special” status.

A few years ago, UNESCO tried to cancel ICCBS’s status and Pakistan had to make a lot of diplomatic efforts to avoid it.
He said that after years of claiming to be a state-of-the-art research centre, ICCBS has finally admitted the truth that it only produces graduate students. However, it has been getting huge funding as a research center. If it was being funded as a degree-awarding institution, its entitlement would have been based on the number of its students and would be about a tenth of what it has been getting.

The UNESCO website lists a total of 73 Category 2 Centers, of which one is in the US, 21 in Europe, and the remaining 51 in Asia, Africa, and Latin America including the 3 Pakistani Centres.

He said that MIC has patted him on the back for having conducted 0.35 million Covid tests. By this approach, Excel Labs and Chughtai Labs should be considered the most advanced research centers in the country. Instead of floating over obscure and politically determined national and international awards, ICCBS should try to produce at least one scientific work of value.

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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