ISLAMABAD: A large number of unemployed PhD scholars Monday demanded the government to provide better job opportunities to help them earn a decent living.
The PhD scholars association claimed that it had 764 unemployed PhD doctors registered with it and demanded placement against jobs in the higher education sector.
The association said the previous negotiations with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) bore no fruit. The key demands of the protesting scholars were including adjustment of all PhDs (on jobs) on an urgent basis, creation of jobs for fresh PhDs in non-teaching institutions, PhDs who were working in non-teaching institutes on low scales must be promoted to proper job scales and Implementation of proper rules and regulations in private universities.
A demand and agenda paper had also been issued by the unemployed PhDs earlier, which stated that there were 36,000 PhDs required in universities, with a further 60,000 PhDs required across Pakistan.
However, despite this shortage, the previous governments had only succeeded in providing jobs to only a few hundred (about 700) PhD graduates. The scholars blamed the federal and provincial HECs for their situation, saying, “It is also because incompetent people are sitting on the key posts of HEC and PHEC.”
“When a job for M.Phil is advertised, many PhDs apply to these jobs, and ultimately, they serve on the posts for which they are overqualified,” the agenda said. It said that many PhDs were working on BPS-16 and BPS-17 levels, which did not do justice to PhD graduates. The scholars were overqualified for the posts, but had no other choice but to continue working on subordinate position for want of a livelihood, it added.
The scholars said they had also had bad experiences with the private sector in form of exploitation. They said that there was a lack of implementation of rules and regulations in some HEC-recognised private sector universities.
The scholars demanded that salaries for PhDs in the private sector should be made equal to the TTS salary. Furthermore, they demanded that the rule of a retired person not holding any administrative post similar to that in the public sector should also be implemented in private universities. The scholars demanded that leave rules and job security, as provided in government-run varsities, should also be ensured in the private sector.
District management assured to arrange a meeting with the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Naeem Ul Haq on Tuesday. Assistant Commissioner Muhammad Wasim stressed the students to end their protest and assured that their issues would be resolved.