Negligence of Authorities; Lari University Takes Steps Towards Decline after 13 Years of Progress

0
13

Karachi: The renowned Bhutto martyr University, commonly known as Liaquat University, established a decade ago in the upscale area of Karachi, is now facing neglect from local politicians and authorities, where underprivileged students are deprived of senior professors in their departments and the entire university is being run by junior and part-time lecturers.

There are also some departments in the university where unrelated or part-time lecturers have been assigned, making it a university in Pakistan where neither a professor nor a dean is present. Many books in the university’s department libraries are abandoned.

The pharmacy department lacks related equipment and comprehensive laboratories, and surprisingly, pharmacy education is being enforced by consolidating all branches through new principles.

In addition, Liaquat University has been deprived of its permanent vice-chancellor for the past two years, and an additional charge of this general university is currently being held by the vice-chancellor of a medical university in Karachi.

After the current state of affairs in the university and the unavailability of professors, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Sindh has put a stop to the establishment of any new departments in the university.

It is important to note that Liaquat University was established in 2010 as one of the specific universities to attract young residents of Karachi’s suburbs or districts towards higher education. 55% of the seats in Liaquat University are reserved for Liaquat, Kemari, Gadap, and Malir towns, while 35% are for Karachi and 10% are based on open merit.

The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Dr. Akhtar Baloch, has been on forced leave for more than two years amid allegations of harassing a female member of the assembly via phone. However, no decision has been made regarding their reinstatement or removal.

Under the leadership of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government returned to the province after six months, but no decision has been made regarding the university’s leadership.

It is speculated that Dr. Akhtar Baloch’s term will be completed in September next year.

When contacted about the university’s complex situation, Dr. Tariq Rafi, Chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, expressed concerns that without a vice-chancellor for two years, it is difficult to expect any improvements, and with no decision on the appointment of a permanent vice-chancellor, there are many difficulties at the institution.

It is clear that the charter inspection committee, made up of subject experts and vice-chancellors, has found the university’s extremely complicated situation during their visits.

It has been revealed that affiliating college universities are operating as constituent colleges of Liaquat University. There is neither a permanent director of finance nor a controller of examinations at this university. Similarly, even the registrar is temporary.

During the committee’s visit, there were only four Ph.D. professors at the university. According to the presentation given by the acting registrar, there is not a single professor in the university, and the faculty at this university does not even meet the required standards set by the Federal HEC, who is currently visiting the faculty at this university.

In 2023, two departments, Media Sciences and Islamic Studies, were established at Liaquat University. However, both programs were started due to the absence of the relevant faculty members, and new programs are being run through visiting faculty, including a program in Physical Education.

A member of the charter inspection committee, Additional Secretary of College Education Faqir Mohammad Lakh, revealed that the endowment fund provided by the Sindh government for students of the university does not reach the students, and there have been several complaints in this regard.

Similarly, the most crucial institution at the university, the Senate, last convened in 2014, and the university’s budget is being used without approval from the Senate.

The Public Administration department building has several other departments established in it, such as classrooms, labs, and offices, and the infrastructure of the faculty offices is in a dilapidated state, with library books abandoned.

Furthermore, permanent faculty members are not present in the Information Technology department in the required numbers, the digital library of the department is inactive, and in the pharmacy department, instead of programs like Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, and Pharmacy Practice, there is only one department of pharmacy with technical staff missing from the labs. In the English department, four classrooms have been set up for 450 students.

It has also been revealed that the university’s budget is not presented in the Finance and Planning Committee and is not approved by the syndicate or Senate. During the committee’s visit, financial irregularities in the university were highlighted.

Moreover, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Professor Amjad Sarwar, when contacted by Express, said that overempowerment has destroyed this university.

He mentioned that during the tenure of former Vice-Chancellor Dr. Akhtar Baloch, he was pressurized and forced to make hires, as it was a time of gang wars, and they were also forced into it.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor said that now the situation is that they have convened a meeting of the Finance and Planning Committee, where the Director Finance of HEC was also invited. It was revealed there that a few months later, there would be no funds left for the university’s salaries.

He mentioned that they are taking various types of allowances with salaries, causing a separate financial burden. Meanwhile, the HEC is refusing to release funding.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor said that decisions are being made on how to hire professors and associate professors, and where they will get salaries. Thus, it has been decided to meet with the Sindh Chief Minister to request a special grant.

It was mentioned that a Lieutenant Colonel (R) Qaimuddin has been appointed as the registrar to ensure the rule of law at the university.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here