Punjab nominates HEC member from private sector.

LAHORE -- Punjab government has nominated a rector of a private university to represent the province as a member of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), apparently in clear deviation from the past practice of nominating secretary of the Higher Education Department (HED) as a representative.

Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi appointed Prof Dr Sumaira Rehman, Rector of Superior University, as Punjab's representative in the HEC and issued a notification of the appointment.

Dr Rehman also held a meeting with the Mr Elahi at his office on Saturday, who handed over the appointment notification to her. The chief minister hoped Dr Rehman would vibrantly represent Punjab and assist the commission to promote entrepreneurship-based education programmes across the country.

Dr Rehman on the occasion expressed her resolve to help prepare talented youth having innovative ideas.

These youngsters would not only be given employment, but they will also play a robust role to strengthen the national economy, she hoped. She said diverting the youth towards the knowledge-based economy in educational institutions could certainly drive the country out of the prevailing economic crisis.

A commission member, on the condition of anonymity, told Dawn the nomination of Prof Dr Sumaira Rehman was a clear example of 'conflict of interest'. Being an owner and the rector of a private university, how she could represent all the public and private sector universities in the commission, he asked.

He said as the commission would be involved in devising national-level higher education policy, the provincial government should have nominated a person who could implement the policy in a professional way, like HED secretary or HEC chairman.

He said previously, the secretaries of all the provinces would be members of the commission and could...

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