HEC vs Education Ministry

HEC, Education Ministry at loggerheads
Islamabad, July 23: The heads of Higher Education Commission and the Education Ministry are at loggerheads, as the process of degrees’ verification of the Parliamentarians has further deepened with their statements against each other.

The Federal Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali said that the report on the MPs’ degrees could be reviewed again, as it was not the Higher Education Commission’s domain to verify the degrees. He added that the report would be sent to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Education after consultations with the Law Ministry. He was speaking to media persons at a seminar on education sector budget on Thursday. The Minister said a committee could be formed to review the report prepared by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on the MPs’ degrees.

He said before scrutiny of the degrees of the MPs the Education Ministry should have been consulted and by ignoring the Ministry in this regard the HEC Chairman, Dr Javaid Leghari, has violated the rules of business of the Parliament.

He said though the Commission is an autonomous body, the competent authority is the Ministry, as it is answerable to the Parliament in all the matters not the HEC. He said they are not against the verification processes of the lawmakers’ degrees but it would be done according to the verdict of the Supreme Court.

He said Abid Sher Ali doesn’t have mandate of the Committee to start the verification process and if he wants to become a hero then he should quit the Committee chairmanship and join the media. He was of the view that the Parliament could not intervene in the matters of the executive and Abid Sher Ali could not dictate the Government-run institutions.

Meanwhile, the HEC while responding to the statement of the Minister has issued a statement saying that the Commission is the sole authority to verify any degree.

It said the HEC is the sole authority to recognise any degree issued in Pakistan or abroad and it is performing its responsibilities exactly in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Government of Pakistan.

About recent media reports regarding function of the HEC with respect to the verification of the degrees, it clarified that the HEC is an autonomous body with the Prime Minister as the controlling authority, it added.

Its primary responsibility is to formulate policies, guiding principles and priorities for the institutions of higher education for promotion of socio-economic development of the country. The powers and functions of the Commission, as per Ordinance LIII 2002 includes, amongst others, “Determine the equivalence and recognition of degrees, diplomas and certificates awarded by institutions within the country and abroad.”

Meanwhile, Abid Sher Ali has also criticised the Minister for giving statements against the verification process. He challenged the authority of the Minister for keeping the record of the degrees due his controversial position. The nation

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