Fifty percent grant allocated by HEC has been cut: Nisar Shahwani
Cut in fund has caused a great suffering for staff and there should be departmental test for MPhil and PhD in Balochistan.
Balochistan University is currently suffering from worst crisis. Professor Nisar Shahwani is General Secretary of Academic Staff Association (ASA) Balochistan. We have exclusively interviewed him on the current crisis is facing University of Balochistan.
Interviewed By Yousaf Ajab Baloch
(Blv stands for Bolan Voice and NS stands for Nisar Shahwani)
BLV: What your academic staff association focuses to serve the academic staff in UoB?
NS: It is academic staff association and we are striving to bring betterment in the institution and facilitate our faculties. Here our prime duty or focus is to motivate faculty and get ensure provision of rights and demands of staff in the academy, so that without any hardship they continue their teaching process
BLV: Do you people work for only academic staff or for lower and management staff, too?
NS: Basically, we belong to the academic staff and we claim for working for the rights of academic staff but as whole we all are inter-linked, therefore we raise voice for the management and lower staff, too
BLV: What is the main crisis confronting university of Balochistan right now?
NS: Though there are number of crises facing University of Balochistan today but the most burning issue is scarcity of funds because there is shortage of funds from Higher Education Commission (HEC). The fifty percent of the grant allocated by HEC has been cut; this has caused a great suffering for the staff. The monthly salary of teachers and other working staff of the university are approximately 80 million rupees which is always delayed due to the shortage of funds.
BLV: What are the causes behind mentioned trouble?
NS: The major cause behind this mess is appointment of unnecessary staff in the University of Balochistan, because the nepotism and favoritism are the common bottlenecks in Balochistan. All Vice Chancellors in past were appointed on political or on the bases of favoritism; therefore, they hired a number of employees without requisition which has caused a burden on University of Balochistan and now the institution is having staff out of its requirement. For instance, where there was need of 600 people, they appointed 1500 employee Before, HEC would give grants on three months installments, later it was on monthly bases but now on monthly basis, it also takes months for release of fund.
The appointment of Vice Chancellors is quite against the rules or the merit. In the developed countries PhD scholars and education experts are being appointed as head of the universities but here it is done on the basis of favoritism and nepotism which has resulted very badly.
BLV: How can be the financial crisis of UoB overcome?
NS: According to the 18 amendment, after 2013 or 2014 provincial government is responsible to fund University of Balochistan and after 2013 HEC will not be allocating for University onward. Neither province Vice Chancellors nor Governor of Balochistan who is Chancellor of the university has postured interest to resolve this malady. University of Balochistan is the biggest Public Sector institution in Balochistan. The university requires 280 million rupees to overcome the financial crises. The Vice Chancellor being executive of university must make efforts to overcome financial crisis. The authorities should initiate process of reshuffling as for the years many positions are filled by the people who are causing deterioration of the situation but they do not take it serious and this will mitigate some reason of the current crisis.
BLV: What are the role of Vice Chancellor and Governor of Balochistan to solve these crises and what have they done so far?
NS: Unfortunately, they being the main figures have not been able to do any remarkable moves regarding the issues facing UoB up till now. They neither did nor are they interested. Their lethargic has resulted today’s march. Governor of Balochistan being the Chancellor should have done its job to deal with the problems; unfortunately matters have not been tackled sincerely.
We requested VC to allow us for meeting with governor to share surrounded in problems and crisis or you do this but the questions are still remaining unsolved. These may cause hurdles in the academic activates continence of the university
BLV: It is said that there is lack of faculty in UoB and it affects the studies?
NS: Yes, there is lack of faculty right now, and it is one of the main problems. Because many professors have fled from Balochistan due to ruthless law and order situations or some of them have been murdered in sectarian or target killings by unknowns. Due to the situation the studies of the students are also being affected.
BLV: What should be done to fill this gap?
NS: This gap can easily be filled by provision of security to professors and academic staff. Balochistan is a fertilized land if this province is given opportunity to serve then they can dispense their jobs on the smoothly conditions, apart from this HEC also imposed unnecessary rules. HEC has implemented a very tough testing system for M.Phil and PhD which is very difficult for the applicant who intend to do their M.Phil and PhD.
BLV: So how the testing system should be?
NS: The current testing systems of HEC is very difficult for applicants because it is comprised of Math, English and Science subjects and is not relevant to the subjects of the MPhil and PhD, due to which the applicants cannot pass the test, even in some universities of Sindh and Punjab this system does not exist and for the selection of MPhil and PhD candidates they have their own testing procedure which is related to the concerned subjects.
I think for the scholars of MPhil and PhD there should be departmental tests to create opportunities and induct youngsters to serve Balochistan. I am sure if authorities of UoB are interested then the unnecessary testing systems can be avoided to allow the students in Balochistan to fulfill this gap of faculty.
BLV: The examination branch in UoB is always being criticized due to its delayed works and examination process, what are the causes behind it?
NS: Examination branch is one of the main branches in our university; I do not go in defensive position and agree with you that this branch is always being criticized. Since the examination, the controller post is still vacant for years though it was many times advertized but has not been permanently filled for the interest. Sometimes additional charges are given to a professor to run the branch which totally goes against the rules because in UoB a controller or registrar is to run the examination branch.
Here we can find monopolization in this branch as well because a group of unqualified people have occupied the key position and do not want capable candidates to replace them. Same is the case in Conduct branch which conducts examination that has also failed to perform its job. The delay in examinations, finding of papers in markets and provision of fake degrees to a chunk of approachable persons are some examples disclosed to everyone in Balochistan and these all are counted in the deeds of examination branch.
BLV: What is the biggest challenge in education sector in Balochistan as well as in UoB?
NS: The current challenge not only the UoB but also whole Balochistan facing is truly lack of quality education due to the cheating culture. If we go in depth there are different elements in creation of this problem, mainly, I name teachers, parents and conducting of examinations. This culture is harming our education sectors. The habit of cheating has become a fashion even students consider it one of their basic rights. In all, students cheat freely in entire Balochistan including UoB.
Though in past we would see some cause of the fake or alternate candidates out of university but now we also find such kind of cases among regular students of UoB. The cheating evil has badly affected our education but no one is interested to eradicate this social evil as if the responsible authorities deliberately want to deteriorate education in Balochistan quality.
BLV: The appointment of unconcerned persons in UoB is not the breakdown of the system and quality management, how do you defend or criticize it?
NS: I think no rational man will ever defend such appointments of approachable candidates; we have already condemned such acts which cause badness or defaming of the UoB. We have been demanding to dismount the burdens of retired persons on the budget of UoB. Rather than hiring 70 years old retired persons, institution’s own professionals should be promoted and trained to perform their work. The appointment of irrelevant persons is no doubt the breakdown of system and failure of management utterly.
Here we have the example of Director General Administration (DG), who is an engineer by profession but working as Director General in UoB. We have many times brought this issue in the notice of authorities but their silence is quite reasonless.
On the other hand we also find monopolization in the branch even there are people who are not concerned, but are appointed on certain jobs in the branch .This is totally violation of the academic rules to call unconcerned persons to prepare the results, code, and tabulate. The aforementioned unlawful appointments have caused defamation of the institution and increased corruption. There is a great need of the shuffling in the academy to ensure transparency. Fresh candidates with highly oriented experiences should be given opportunity for the services and it comes under the duty of VC of UoB to take initiatives for overcoming the appalling crises, the UoB cannot run unless there is trust in the people who are able to perform.