The Sindh government is considering making significant changes to the requirements for the appointment of Vice Chancellors (VCs) of all universities in the province.
According to details, the provincial government is mulling over abolishing the requirement of a PhD degree and publication of 15 research papers in recognized journals for the appointment of VCs.
The Sindh government is also considering reducing the age limit for VCs from 65 years to 62 years.
Besides, the provincial government is also thinking to allow civil servants, college teachers, and employees of grade 17 or above of private and public institutions to become VCs.
However, these individuals will be required to demonstrate experience of 20 years, including 10 years of administrative experience, in order to be eligible to become VCs.
In a separate development, the Secretary of Sindh Universities and Boards Department, Mureed Rahimoon, has forwarded a summary for publishing a new advertisement for the appointment of VCs in eight universities to the Chief Minister (CM).
These include Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University of Technology and Skills Development (BBSUTSD), Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Sukkur, Shaheed Allah Bakhsh University of Art Design and Heritage (SABUADH), and Aror University of Art (AUA), Dawood University of Engineering and Technology (DUET), and Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University (BNBWU).
A search committee of the Universities and Boards Department had previously recommended the names of Dr. Aslam Aqeeli and Dr. Anila Atta-ur-Rehman as the VCs of DUET and BNBWU respectively.
In case the CM approves publishing a new advertisement for the appointment of VCs in eight universities, it will be the first time that the recommendations of the search committee would be rejected.
It must be noted here that Dr. Anila is serving as the VC of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU). Last year, she was sent on forced leave after two female hostel students allegedly committed suicide in the space of two years.
Dr. Anila had challenged her forced leave in the Sindh High Court (SHC), contending that there was no provision in the SMBBMU Act for sending the VC on forced leave.
As a result, a two-member bench of the SHC headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar allowed Dr. Anila to resume the charge earlier this year in March.
To recall, Nimirta Chandani, a final-year BDS student, was found dead in her hostel room in September 2019. Her death was later declared suicide under controversial circumstances. Nosheen Shah Kazmi, a fourth-year MBBS student, was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room in November 2021. Both cases are currently under investigation.