Science & Technology Ministry’s 9 Organizations are Working Without a Head

Nine out of the 17 organizations under the Ministry of Science and Technology are grappling with a lack of permanent leadership, which is leading to significant disruptions in their official and administrative functions.

Sources report that officers from the ministry and its subordinate institutions have been burdened with additional responsibilities to oversee these nine organizations, exacerbating the delay in projects and bringing day-to-day operations to a virtual standstill.

The absence of permanent heads in these institutions has caused a cascade of challenges. Officers’ promotions in these organizations have halted, office matters have languished, and work progress has significantly slowed down. Astonishingly, the recruitment process for crucial positions has remained unresolved for years, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The affected organizations include the National Institute of Electronics (NIE), Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Comsats University Islamabad (CUI), Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technology (PCRET), Council for Works and Housing Research (CWHR), National Metrology Institute of Pakistan (NMIP), and STEDEC Technology Commercialization Corporation of Pakistan.

Amidst this crisis, the ministry has taken drastic measures, including sending Chairman Science Foundation, Dr. Shahid Beig, on leave and initiating disciplinary proceedings against him. Additionally, the Chairman of PSF has contested the ministry’s actions in court.

Efforts to fill these vacant positions are in progress, but obstacles persist. Objections raised by the establishment division are currently being addressed. The position of Rector at Comsats University remains vacant since May 2023, with Dr. Sajid Qamar serving as Acting Rector. The selection process for a new Rector will commence during the 6th senate meeting of CUI.

The role of Chairman in the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology has remained vacant for an extended period. Interviews for this position were conducted in July 2023, but delays persist due to bureaucratic issues.

The Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies is also lacking a permanent head, with a merger process underway with PCSIR. Meanwhile, the post of Chairman at the Council for Works and Housing Research is vacant, and Dr. Haiz Rab Nawaz is serving on an interim basis.

The National Meteorology Institute of Pakistan is experiencing a year-long delay in appointing a head, and the post of MD at STEDEC has remained vacant since July 2021, with the board’s completion still pending. The situation remains uncertain as these organizations strive to find permanent leadership to resume normal operations.

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