Around 15 of the 28 public sector universities in Punjab are unable to appoint key officials due to unapproved statutes and service rules, the Academia Magazine has learnt.
Reliable sources at the Higher Education Department (HED) told Academia Magazine that as there were no approved statutes of public sector varsities, appointments of registrars, controllers of examination and treasurers could not be done as per the directions of the Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.
According to the sources, the service rules of Government College University Lahore, Fatimah Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, Government College University for Women Faisalabad, Government College University for Women Sialkot, University of Sargodha, University of Education and newly established universities were still in the process of approval from the chancellor.
The sources also revealed that the unapproved service rules of these public sector universities were the result of cumbersome procedure for approval of draft statutes, inattention of the Higher Education Department and the vice chancellors of the universities.
It was further revealed that officials in public sector universities in Punjab were adopting delaying tactics in taking administrative decisions with regard to implementing the orders of Punjab governor for appointment of a permanent registrars, controllers of examinations and treasurers.
The HED source said the chancellor/Punjab governor had given until November 2019 to VCs for the appointment of permanent registrars, and controllers, but the VCs had been unable to implement the orders in the absence of service rules.
However, some VCs were continuing to appoint staff and faculty in the absence of approved service rules.
The HED official said former vice chancellor of Khawja Ghulam Farid IT University, Rahim Yar Khan, had made several appointments in the university without any approved statutes. As a result, he appointed a former naib tehsildar/patwari as additional registrar (BS-19) on regular basis, along with several other illegal appointments in clear violation of the rules.
The lack of interest by the Vice Chancellors and the objections raised by the bureaucracy were the major hurdles behind the delay in the approval of service rules of universities, the source added.
On his part, Punjab Higher Education Secretary Sajid Zafar Dall said the matter could have been resolved several years ago, and he intended to resolve it as soon as the department resumed normal functions, as all official activities had been scaled back due to the effects of coronavirus. He further said that that the delay with regards to approval/adoption of statutes lay at the end of other departments, including Law and PA.