The National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture has approved “The University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020” with amendments.
The committee held its 21st meeting with Mian Najeeb ud Din Awais in the chair at the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE), Islamabad on Monday.
Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Shaista Sohail apprised the committee of the background of the Bill.
In her briefing, the Executive Director HEC said the Bill was earlier referred to the Standing Committee on Science and Technology. The same has been referred to the Standing Committee on Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture, she added. She said the government had directed HEC to initiate the case for establishing a university in Islamabad with a focus on Engineering and Emerging Technologies.
Accordingly, she maintained, a draft bill of the proposed university was prepared in line with the Federal Universities Ordinance, 2002. “Being a public sector initiative for the establishment of a university to impart quality education in the fields of engineering and emerging technologies, HEC recommends the instant case to an extent of processing of the Act.” She underlined that the proposed university, upon promulgation of the Act, would be required to obtain a No Objection Certification based on an affirmative assessment by HEC’s Accreditation Committee in the light of the federal cabinet’s criteria regarding fulfillment of physical, academic, and financial requirements in order to commence academic activities.
She also informed that the approval should not be used as a precedent in any other case, especially for the enactment of the charter of private sector universities/institutions. The HEC, she held, placed amendments before the committee and the committee recommended that the Bill might be passed by the National Assembly with amendments. However, she said, the opposition members opposed the Bill and submitted a Note of Dissent.
During the meeting, the committee also recommended approving “The Pakistan Global Institute Bill, 2021” (Government Bill). However, the committee deferred the other Government Bills and a private member’s Bill namely, “The Pakistan Institute of Education Bill, 2021”, “The Iqbal Academy Pakistan Bill, 2021” and “The NCS-Institute of Sciences Bill, 2021” (moved by James Iqbal, MNA) till its next meeting.
The committee discussed the current Admission Policy in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) schools. The Director (Academic), Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) apprised the panel that the children of residents of ICT and the children of federal government/semi-government employees residing in Islamabad are eligible for admission at the schools located as close as possible to their residences. “Priority is given to the residents of the same Union Council/Sector whichever the case may be. However, the children belonging to the same family are accorded preference for admission in the institutions where their brothers/sisters are already enrolled,” she said.
She further said that admission tests were conducted for admission to institutions where the number of applicants for admission exceeded their intake capacity. The committee directed the Ministry and FDE to coordinate with any of three members from the Standing Committee to devise a policy for admissions in ICT schools.
The Chairman FBISE also briefed the committee on the functions and performance of the Board and shed light on the Board’s responsibilities, achievements, policy proposals for improving the current examination system, and future plans. The committee appreciated the efforts of Chairman FBISE for improving the efficiency of the institution.
Besides Parliamentary Secretary, Federal Education and Professional Training Division, Wajiha Qamar, the meeting was attended by Ali Nawaz Awan, Sadaqat Ali Khan Abbasi, Javairia Zafar Aheer, Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, Andleeb Abbas, Ghazala Saifi, Asma Qadeer, Tashfeen Safdar, Mehnaz Akbar Aziz, Ch. Muhammad Hamid Hameed, Kiran Imran Dar, Musarrat Asif Khawaja, Abid Hussain Bhayo, Mussarat Rafiq Mahesar, Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro and Asmatullah.
Senior officers from the Federal Education and Professional Training Division, Ministry of Law & Justice, Higher Education Commission, Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), and National Curriculum Council (NCC) were also present in the meeting.