The three finalists for the post of Chairperson of the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) has been finalized and the process of appointment of a permanent head of the commission has entered its final stage.
According to sources in the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED), the three names finalized by the Search Committee are COMSATS Islamabad Faculty of Science Dean Prof Dr Arshad Saleem Bhatti, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf and University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore Former Vice Chancellor Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid.
As many as 143 candidates had applied for the position of the chairperson of the PHEC. As per rules, a total of 15 candidates were shortlisted for interviews by the search committee. The committee was supposed to start the interviews of the prospective candidates on May 7 but the interviews of the shortlisted candidates started on May 8 and ended on May 9.
Chairman Prime Minister Task Force on Science and Technology and founding Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) Chairman Dr Atta-ur-Rahman was the head of the search committee.
The final stage of the process is the final decision for the PHEC Chairperson’s position for which a summary with the three finalized names will be sent for approval to the Punjab Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, the PHEC itself is dysfunctional because of the lack of a head, permanent or on a look-after charge and all work at the commission has come to a grinding halt.
The provincial government had earlier altered the criteria for the appointment of the PHEC Chairperson and the new criteria had two parts; the first was the basic requirements, while the other was the interview by the search committee of the candidates who topped the initial stage. Each stage carried 100 points.