After the removal of Dr Umar Saif as the vice chancellor of the Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore, the Punjab government has been unable to fill the slot, with a probability arising wherein Punjab University VC Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar is expected to take charge as the acting ITU VC.

After the sudden removal of Dr Saif, the provincial government charged the senior-most professor of ITU, Dr Akmal Hussain, to look-after the affairs of the varsity. However, Dr Hussain refused to take charge. Subsequently, Punjab Higher Education Minister Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz said during a meeting with journalists that the second most-senior professor would be given the ITU charge.

However, according to sources in the Higher Education Department, the government has now decided to give Punjab University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar teh charge of acting ITU VC until a permanent head is appointed. The sources said a summary in this connection had been moved by the department and it was now with the law ministry for approval.

Like the previous government, the current government has been unable to fill the vacant positions of vice chancellors at various public sector universities of the province.

For the purpose, the new government had initiated to review and change the criteria for the appointment of vice chancellors in Punjab.

For ITU, the appointment process underway was halted in its final stages and a decision was made to re-advertise the post again.

Since then, however, no progress had been made in this regard.

The higher education ministry of Punjab has hit several snags in the first few months and its much boasted higher education policy reforms have also been delayed for another six months.

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