The federal government has removed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) for holding an unverified Ph.D. degree. He was appointed in December last year.
Sheikh Akhtar Hussain claims to have completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Open International University in Colombo in 2002.
But, the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) investigation has revealed that the institute is not recognized even in Sri Lanka, let alone Pakistan.
Interestingly, ‘Dr.’ Akhtar has been drawing the Ph.D. allowance since 2002 on the basis of this dubious degree.
Ministry of National Health Services came into action after a report published in a local daily revealed this.
Following the report, the department launched an inquiry into the matter and wrote to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for the verification of his degree.
“The Open International University, Colombo is not among the chartered universities/institutions of Sri Lanka,” the HEC responded to the ministry’s letter. It added that the university also doesn’t figure in the “International Handbook of Universities” published by UNESCO.
“Therefore, as per policy, degrees awarded by non-chartered universities/institutions cannot be recognized by the Higher Education Commission/Government of Pakistan,” HEC response letter added.
The ministry removed Sheikh Akhtar from his position ten days after receiving the confirmation that his degree wasn’t recognized anywhere in the world. His close aide, Asim Rauf, has been given the temporary charge.
However, Sheikh still insists that his degree is verified and that the University he did the doctorate from, was also a recognized institute.
Upon confrontation, he admitted that the varsity was not in the list of institutions approved by the HEC. And according to laws, a degree unapproved by the HEC can’t be used to acquire a job in Pakistan.
While the culprit has received what he deserved, the fact remains intact that the ministry didn’t bother to scrutinize his credentials at the time of selection.
Via: The News