LAHORE: The Punjab University (PU) is all set to get a permanent vice chancellor (VC) after the gap of almost two years as University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar is likely to be named as permanent VC of the largest public sector varsity of the country.
Dr Niaz’s name got the consent from outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the notification by the Higher Education Department (HED) in this regard is expected soon.
As per the details, the decision was made by the chief minister after a series of rushed interviews with three shortlisted candidates on Wednesday evening at the Lahore airport after the Shehbaz had returned from an official trip to southern Punjab.
The candidates, shortlisted by a search committee after interviewing a total of 40 applicants, included UET Taxila Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, PU College of Information Technology (PUCIT) Principal Prof Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar and former provisional PU vice chancellor and PU Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Dean Dr Zakria Zakar.
A senior official of the HED told this scribe that the appointment had swiftly been made by the Punjab government contrary to the months-long delay it earlier took, owing to the deadline given to the government by the Supreme Court. HED and Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) had been putting in all their efforts to get the job done following the apex court’s orders, he said, adding that the other reason was obviously the end of the government’s tenure.
It is worth mentioning here that the office of permanent VC PU was lying vacant since 2016 as Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was the last permanent VC of the varsity. After Kamran, Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar, Prof Dr Zakriya Zakar and Prof Dr Nasira Jabeen were made the provisional VC of PU.
Prof Dr Zakriya Zakar resigned from his post last month in April following the directives of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar over the allotment of 80 Kanal land of the varsity to National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC).