LAHORE: The 356th meeting of Punjab University Senate on Thursday has given approval to the restructuring of the faculties despite the lack of funds, which is aimed at transforming the university as per modern requirements of the academic world. Out of 150 participants, 145 members voted in favor, PU council of professionals representatives rejected the approval of the senate, two showed disagreement while 3 opined to form a committee on the issue.

The meeting was presided over by Punjab Governor/Chancellor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmed, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, deans of all faculties and members participated in the online meeting. Addressing the meeting, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that the autonomy of universities would not be compromised and the universities would be expunged from politics. He appreciated the role of Punjab University in combating COVID 19 and playing active role for teaching of translation of the holy Quran in the universities.

He said the Punjab government kept education on top priority and the universities were being encouraged and supported at every level. While briefing the Senate on the recent PU affairs, PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmed said that due to several initiatives taken by the incumbent administration in all the disciplines of the university, PU had jumped 54 points in QS Asian Universities Ranking and the restructuring of the university would help improve PU’s international ranking further. He said that the restructuring of the university had been proposed after deliberations of two years on relevant forums.

He said that due to the promotion of research culture, 9 faculty members of Punjab University had been ranked among top 2 percent researchers of the world. He said that the university had launched academic programs for meeting the national requirements in the energy sector. He said that another landmark achievement of Punjab University was that its cotton seed had been approved by the Government of Pakistan and soon it would be commercialized, which would boost the country’s agricultural economy. He said that in the history of Punjab University, the number of full professors could not exceed 70 but now we have more than 150 professors who were contributing towards the development of the country and society in their relevant sectors. He said that the establishment of new research centres would transform the overall academic environment of the university and it would help resolve socio-economic issues of the country and society.

He said that the university had been digitalized and for the first time in Pakistan, proctor based online examinations were successfully taken. He said that the university had also established BSL 3 level laboratory and started corona tests to serve the people and help government cope with the disease. He said that PU established Web TV, telemedicine centre and mental health helpline for creating awareness among the people and for mental rehabilitation of the society facing the pandemic. He said that PU College of Art and Design, Directorate of Student Affairs and Department of Sports organized various competitions to engage the society in healthy activities during lockdown. The meeting gave approval to the recommendations of Syndicate and Academic Council. The meeting also approved upgradation of private secretary, PA, senior stenographer, stenographer, qasid and daftri. The meeting also gave approval to previous proceedings of the meeting of the Senate.

PU Academic Staff Association President Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry and Secretary Javed Sami have termed restructuring of faculties a historic moment and thanked PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmed for bringing changes to the academic departments in order to fulfill modern requirements of all the subjects and fields. They said that the restructuring would help produce quality graduates as per modern requirements of relevant fields and make a considerable contribution towards improvement in international ranking of the university. He said that the restructuring would also polish the leadership skills of the faculty members.

Punjab University Council of Professionals rejected the approval of restructuring of the faculties just on the basis of the lack of funds and also said that the university is not considering the economic crunch of corrunt time.

The Core Committee meeting of the Punjab University Council of Professionals (PU – CoPs) was held to discuss the prevailing fluid situation of the University. The members of the core committee expressed their great concern about the proposed restructuring plan of the university. The plan was being taken without proper consultation and developing consensus among the faculty members and in some cases even without following the proper academic channels like Board of Faculty and Board of Studies.

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