- HEC officials say politicisation of student unions cannot be encouraged
- ‘Students have every right to be well informed, to establish platforms over their collective issues’
ISLAMABAD: Chairman and members of Senate’s Functional Committee on Problems of the Less Developed Areas – in a meeting with senior officials of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) here on Tuesday – raised the issue of the student union in the higher education institutions.
During the meeting held here at the Parliament House, the HEC officials said that politicisation of the student unions, as has been the case in the past, often resulting in strikes and academic calendar disruption cannot be encouraged.
However, they said that the students have every right to be well informed and to establish platforms to facilitate them with a forum for collective reflection on their issues. The meeting was chaired by Senator Muhammad Usman Kakar, chairman of the committee.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Professional and Technical Training Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh also attended the meeting. Senator Hasil Bizenjo, Senator Faiz Muhammad, Senator Fida Muhammad and Senator Momin Khan Afridi also attended the meeting.
The HEC officials informed the lawmakers that the Higher Education Commission has initiated various fully-funded scholarship schemes exclusively for the students of Balochistan and the tribal areas (formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They briefed the committee on its overall performance including funds allocated, utilised and surrendered for each project and scholarship programmes for the people of the less developed areas of all the provinces and the tribal areas during the last three years. They also briefed the committee about the progress report in light of budget proposals made during the last two years for the marginalised people.
The committee was informed that the 3,900 scholarships for undergraduate (MBBS, engineering and many other disciplines and postgraduate studies (MS, MPhil) on the basis 50% for each region, addition to that of 200 overseas PhD scholarships and 400 local scholarships for the students of Balochistan under the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan scheme.
Further to that, 6% quota for Balochistan students and 2% for tribal (FATA) in all the government-funded scholarships schemes run by HEC. Around 22,483 Balochistan students have been provided tuition fee for their studies while 8,391 tribal students have been benefited from the scheme. Around 51 scholarships are also awarded for students of Gwadar.