Peshawar, July 13, 2018 (PPI-OT): According to some sections of press, that University authorities are not conforming to article 17-A is totally baseless and figment of one’s imagination. The University of Peshawar is the only university in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where all the key administrative positions (Registrar, Treasurer, Controller Examination, Provost, Director Administration, Director P and D, Director Sports, Director IT Services etc.) are held by officers from the administrative cadre. Despite this, University of Peshawar following the spirit of the universities act advertised the permanent positions of registrar, controller examinations and treasurer. This process of selecting top-tier officials is awaiting Senate minutes approval for reconstituting Selection Board.
There were certain positions (such as the Director ORIC, Director QEC, etc.), which were considered academic in nature and proposed by the Syndicate Meeting held on 5th December, 2016 to be filled by the officers from the faculty. These Statutes were presented to the Senate on December 27, 2016. The said statutes were approved by the senate and the approved Senate minutes clearly stated that these positions will be filled from the faculty.
However, subsequently the copy of the approved Statutes 2016 received from the Chancellor Office contained two items deferred to be reconsidered in the next Senate Meeting, including 1) Composition of the Selection Board, 2) Appointment on positions such as QEC, ORIC etc. This created a situation whereby the University could not fill these positions through new appointments as Selection Board was not in place, and there were no suitably qualified officers in the Administrative Cadre who could fill these positions.
Being key positions in the academic performance of the university, these positions could not be kept vacant. As a stop-gap measure clearly indicated in the office orders, the University authorities temporarily assigned these duties to officers from Faculty on additional charge basis until the decision by the senate. Now that both the deferred items have been finalized in the recently held senate meeting, as soon as the Senate Minutes will be approved the University will fill these position as per prescribed procedure.
It is noteworthy that no administrative officers have been inducted in the University of Peshawar since February, 2016. There are only three officers in BPS-20 against the sanctioned twenty positions, two in BPS -19 against sanctioned twenty positions, sixteen in BPS-18 against the sanctioned twenty four positions and eleven in BPS-17 against the sanctioned positions of thirty two.
Under these conditions, the University authorities have to assign more than one portfolios to the officers and at times use deputy- and additional registrar level officers as section heads. All such officers have 15-20 years’ experience to their credit and despite having been denied timely promotions, are performing at their level best.It’s a matter of great satisfaction for the university authorities that despite these adverse situations, the performance of the university is optimum level.
The University of Peshawar has taken several new measures to improve its performance. In order to promote research and facilitate graduate students, a new Directorate of Advanced Studies has been created separating it from the over- burdened Directorate of Admissions. In past about 10 months, this directorate has processed 471 number of MPhil/PhD cases for synopsis approval and290 cases for MPhil/PhD examinations/result declaration.
Whereas the central Advanced Studies and Research Board (ASRB) is continuing to thoroughly scrutinize the PhD level studies and research proposals, 09 faculty-level ASRBs have been constituted for the MPhil/MS program enabling over 80 faculty members to be experts members on these boards directly involved in administering the graduate research program at the university. Graduate students who used to wait for up to a year for mere approval of the synopsis are now receiving such approvals in matter oftwo- to three weeks.
The Provost office is efficiently improving facilities at hostels including the security. First time in the last about one decade, rooms occupied by illegal occupants are being retrieved bringing a substantial relief to the bona fide students. Similarly, shops and other commercial entities are being retrieved from illegal occupants and re-auctioned at optimal commercial rates. The rents of banks have been recently revised which has improved the revenue collection from these entities by an handsome amount.
Directorate of Sports and Sanitation catering for the entire campus is maintaining excellent standards of cleanliness and garbage disposal despite enormity of the task and meagre resources. A deputy-director administration is assigned the task of Estate and Assets, who through a high-level committee, specifically constituted to investigate and re-occupy the university assets and properties has already made a remarkable progress.
The property donated to the University by Sardar Abdul Rashid Trust in 1972, is first time in last 46 years has been taken up with the trustee and is under process for redesigning for construction of a commercial plaza. The income from this trust is to be dedicated to financial aid for the needy students. Properties donated by Durrani family and Malik Ummar Hayat Trust are being investigated by the same committee for their retrieval to the university.
The Peshawar University Teachers Foundation (PUTF), which has been in losses for last more than a decade is recently revived and in last two months has already generated funds over Rs 3 lacs. Proceedings from the Baragali Campus have reached to over 8 million rupees in last about one year against none to negligible amounts in the past years. The newly redesigned Directorate of Admissions has been assigned the task of revamping the admissions to 15,000 in the session 2018-19 to increase the revenues from fees by about 30%.
There is a notable improvement in the performance of the Controller Examination Section especially in the areas of timely declaration of results and on-line verification of the degrees and DMCs. Special credit goes to the Treasurer Section for controlling the expenditures on purchases and utilities. Faced with a mammoth amount of Rs. 900 million/year pension liabilities, that constitute one-third of the recurring budget, the Treasurer office is continuing to cater not only for the timely release of salaries but is providing for all the essential expenditures of the University.
Meanwhile, the new administration is taking up the accreditation of the disciplines on holistic basis for the first time through QEC office while ORIC and QEC are together building ranking and industrial linkages. Directorate of Planning and Development is efficiently executing all the developmental projects sponsored by the HEC and the Provincial Government. Its pertinent to mention this office has recently completed the process of hiring 30 employees in HEC funded project of Strengthening of UoP in less than three months but this process is pending issuance of final notifications awaiting approval from the Chancellor’s office.
It is noteworthy that since the promulgation of the Universities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Act 2016, all the universities in the province are struggling to conduct even their routine functioning. There are contradictions within the act and between the act and the statutes. Strict compliance to the act and statutes will only be possible once all the contradictions are removed and the reconstitution of all the governing bodies and associated committees is completed. This is not unusual as such drastic changes in legal instruments take several years to settle when implemented on ground.
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University of Peshawar