HEC continue to serve as Higher Education: Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa has said the Higher Education Commission has done a wonderful job and it will continue to serve the higher education. Under the 18th Amendment that was passed unanimously, he said, 47 subjects including education were devolved from the federal concurrent list, but it did not mean that the federal government absolved itself of its responsibilities related to education. The governor was speaking at the third convocation of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) at its Ravi Campus in Pattoki on Wednesday. The governor, who is also chancellor of all public universities in Punjab, urged the prime minister and political leadership to ensure allocation of maximum funds for higher education. He said the Supreme Court had given a ruling against HEC`s devolution.
Khosa said provision of funds for higher education must not be stopped and pledged that he would advocate universities’ demand that their funds must not be stopped. Instead, he said, he would emphasize that universities` grants should be increased in line with their contemporary needs. Referring to British prime minister’s statement that Pakistan was spending only 1.5 per cent of its GDP on education, the governor acknowledged that it was a pathetically low allocation and assured that the federal government would allocate maximum resources for education.
Earlier, UVAS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz said the administration was trying to inculcate quality as an attitude in the university and digitalizing its all functions through the University Management System. “Our focus is professionalism with ethical personality attribute, practical field orientation, facilities sharing, new programs to enhance HR, private sector linkage and quality improvement as well as development and research in the university,” he said.
In Pakistan, Prof Nawaz said, the livestock sector had excellent potential for growth and remarkable prospects for expansion. He said the university introduced seven new programs, including five-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D), during the last four years. He said the varsity also introduced six new four-year BS Honors degree programs in dairy technology, poultry science, fisheries and aquaculture, applied microbiology, biotechnology and bioinformatics and environmental sciences. “We are the first in Pakistan to initiate MBA in life sciences, fisheries, dairy technology and wildlife postgraduate programs,” he said.
In the services sector, he said, the university was offering training in management, professional competencies, laboratory practices and special courses tailored according to the needs of stakeholders and farmers. Referring to suspension of funds, the VC said the last three years were difficult for development work on the campus. He said the varsity’s request for new development projects worth of Rs1 billion was turned down and funding to the ongoing projects was stopped. As a result, development and academic activities at the university were affected. The governor presented degrees, medals and cash prizes to position holders. Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department Secretary Jahanzeb Khan were also present.