The Higher Education Commission Amendment Bill 2023 has been approved with amendments by the Senate Committee on Education. Federal Minister for Education accepted the proposed amendments presented by committee members Reza Rabani and Mushtaq Ahmed.
The committee proposed a four-year term for the chairperson of HEC, which has also been recommended in sections 10 and 10A of the approved bill.
During the meeting, the committee expressed concerns over changing the status of the HEC chairman from a federal minister. The amendment has been accepted and incorporated into the approved bill.
“This was an invention of an order that has now been terminated,” said the Federal Minister, emphasizing the need to strengthen HEC to move towards quality education. Committee member Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar highlighted the significance of distributing degrees and diplomas fairly.
The Federal Minister supported the committee’s recommendation to fix the term of the chairperson of HEC to four years. He stated that employees in their organizations have now become autonomous, and the Prime Minister cannot appoint a Grade-4 employee.
The committee also informed that in Saudi Arabia, every vice-chancellor is given a position equivalent to a federal minister.
“We have now started practice; it has already been implemented in Punjab,” said the committee chairman.
He further stressed that when there is a headache, there is no need to cut off the head. The current bill will be returned to the section officer from the existing bill, the committee chairman added.
The committee also asserted that the universities’ senate should appoint the vice-chancellor as the chairperson and add three academic representatives to the syndicate. Reza Rabani proposed to create the position of dean and make the treasurer a member of the syndicate. The committee recommended appointing an acting vice-chancellor for Urdu University.