DT News - Pakistan - Senate standing committee approves HEC amendment Bill

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Senate standing committee approves HEC amendment Bill

Staff Reporter

Fri. 4 August 2023


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training approved "The Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023" with amendments, aiming to extend the chairman's term to four years.

Chaired by Senator Irfan Siddiqui, the committee meeting reviewed the bill presented by Federal Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain. Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, attending the meeting on a special invitation, provided valuable historical context and proposed amendments to the bill, which were well-received by Minister Hussain. Senator Mushtaq Ahmed also advocated for amendments regarding the HEC's autonomy and the chairman's term, favoring a four-year tenure.

After extensive discussions, the committee unanimously approved the bill with the proposed amendments.

The committee also discussed matters related to the establishment of higher education institutions in Multan and Sialkot. Emphasizing the importance of adhering to HEC prerequisites and documentation requirements, Senator Siddiqui deferred the consideration of two bills. The bill for the establishment of Lahore University of Management and Technology was dropped due to the mover's continued absence.

Addressing concerns about mass approval of university-related bills by the National Assembly, Senator Siddiqui reassured the public that the Senate's education committee is committed to meticulous scrutiny, aligning with HEC criteria.

Additionally, the committee thoroughly discussed "The Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences, and Technology, Islamabad (Amendment) Bill, 2023," aiming to enhance the university's efficiency by addressing existing gaps. Senator Rabbani's proposed amendments received unanimous approval.

The chairman of HEC provided a detailed briefing on the issues faced by the university and the inquiry committee established by the president of Pakistan to investigate administrative issues and illegal appointments. To gain a comprehensive understanding, the committee decided to hold the next meeting in Karachi.

Moreover, the committee approved the private member bill titled "The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment) Bill 2023," streamlining functioning and decision-making by replacing "Federal Government" with "Appropriate Authority."

The committee was also briefed by the Vice-Chancellor of Islamia University Bahawalpur regarding concerning issues of drug sales, scandals, exploitation, and dissemination of obscene material involving students and teachers on campus. The committee decided to address the matter by writing a letter to the chief justice of Lahore High Court, urging the constitution of a judicial commission to conduct a thorough inquiry.

The committee meeting was attended by various senators, federal minister, secretary federal education, vice-chancellor of Islamia University Bahawalpur, chairman HEC, and senior officials from relevant departments. Several senators also attended as movers for different bills.

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