The government has shelved establishment of National University of Law & Social Sciences (NULSS) in all provincial capitals including Islamabad, while Rs 460million expenditures so far incurred and required land retained for the project.
Although the entire required infrastructure at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad was made readily available to start the academics activities of the university but it could not be utilised due to non-issuance of the charter of the university by the government. The fate of this university is still in doldrums.
Required land for each campus was retained and Rs460.624 million expenditures have so far been incurred for the establishment of this university. But, the federal cabinet has yet to take a decision regarding the establishment of this university, which was approved by Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its meeting held on March 21, 2006, at a capital cost of Rs415million with 12 months duration, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
Documents available with this scribe disclosed that currently, activities related to the establishment of National University of Law & Social Sciences have been seized till the final decision. All project movable physical assets, procured under the project including vehicles have been transferred to three public sector universities (Bahria University Islamabad, University of Gujrat and Federal Urdu University Karachi).
The land for the campuses of this university has been retained, but the federal cabinet has yet to take a decision regarding the establishment of National University of Law & Social Sciences and its campuses in Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar.
According to the documents, 33 scholars were sent abroad who have completed their study and returned back. Curriculum for 05 years LLB degree course has been developed in consultation with the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and HEC. Moreover, rented infrastructure with allied facilities and managerial staff at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad were fully equipped to initiate the university.
35 acres of land for the main campus at Islamabad was acquired in the Kurri zone of Islamabad (zone-IV) from the CDA (in possession of HEC as desired by the CDWP). Similarly, 100 acre of the land for Quetta campus of NLSS, 50acres for Peshawar campus, 25acres for Lahore campus were provided free of cost by the respective provincial governments.
Earlier, the CDWP in its meeting held on March 21, 2006, approved a project related to the establishment of National Law University, Islamabad at a capital cost of Rs415million with 12 months duration. The project was revised and approved by CDWP in its meeting held on May 17, 2007, at a revised cost of Rs473.300million with 24 months duration up to December 31, 2009. The project was extended up to July 31, 2010.
The federal cabinet in its meeting held on April 8, 2009, considered the summary submitted by ministry of education on “An Ordinance to Provide for the Establishment of National University of Law and Social Sciences at Islamabad”, and approved the proposal for further processing in the form of draft bill for the establishment of the university.
In pursuance of the above decision of the cabinet, the draft summary “ A Bill to Provide for the Establishment of National University of Law and Social Sciences at Islamabad”, along with the draft bill, duly vetted by the Law and Justice Division was submitted to the cabinet division by the ministry.
Similarly, the cabinet in its meeting held on September28, 2009, considered the summary and constituted a committee, comprised of the federal education minister as chairman and the planning commission being its member to examine the contents of the draft bill.
The cabinet committee met on February 23, 2010, under the chairmanship of the minister. The committee deliberated upon the issues related to the bill of the “National University of Law and Social Sciences at Islamabad” and unanimously resolved to recommend passing of the bill through the parliament for a grant of the charter for the NULSS.
The summary on “A Bill to provide for the Establishment of National University of Law and Social Sciences at Islamabad” dated March 20, 2010, along with the recommendations of the cabinet committee was submitted by the ministry of education to the cabinet division for its approval. The cabinet in its meeting held on March 24, 2010, considered the summary and deferred decision thereon. The cabinet directed that views of the coalition partners, especially those from the MQM, be solicited and re-submitted for consideration of the cabinet.
It is worth mentioning here that the meeting of this cabinet committee was scheduled for June 17, 2010, which was postponed and rescheduled on July 20, 2010, and had also been postponed, and it was never convened.