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NA panel approves ‘The University of Engineering, Emerging Tech Bill, 2020’ – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training approved, “The University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020” with amendments.

The parliamentary panel met under the chairmanship of Mian Najeebud Din Awaisi, here on Monday.

The committee took notice of the absence of the Vice Chancellor Islamia University, Bahawalpur and the director general of the Federal Directorate of Education, and issued summons to ensure their attendance in the next meeting.

Briefing the committee on the Engineering and Emerging Technology University, official said that 50 acres of land in Prime Minister’s House and 205 acres near Kurri Road have been allotted for the UEET.

This year, Rs3,500 million has been earmarked for the project, while the ECNEC has already sanctioned Rs23.54 billion for the university.

A total period of 72 months has been fixed for the completion of the project.

The launch of the first class of the university will start in the spring of 2022.

The committee members questioned the charter of the university and said that it was necessary to discuss the charter before approving the bill.

The reason is that serious problems are emerging in various universities, an example of which is the International Islamic University of Islamabad, which is headed by a foreign national, who is not aware of the problems here.

Work is yet to be done to change the charter of the International Islamic University, Islamabad.

While briefing, the executive director Higher Education Commission (HEC), apprised the Committee that earlier, the University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020 was referred to the Standing Committee on Science and Technology and the same has been referred to the Standing Committee on Federal Education, Professional Training, National Heritage, and Culture.

She informed that the government has directed the HEC to initiate the case for establishment of a university in Islamabad with the focus on engineering and emerging technologies.

Accordingly, a draft bill of the proposed university was prepared in line with the Federal Universities Ordinance, 2002.

She said that being a public-sector initiative for establishment of a university for imparting quality education in the field of engineering and emerging technologies, the HEC recommends the instant case to an extent of processing of Act.

The proposed university, upon promulgation of Act, shall be required to obtain NOC based on affirmative assessment by the Accreditation Committee of the HEC in the light of federal cabinet criteria for fulfilment of physical, academic, and financial requirements before commencement of academic activities.

She also informed that the approval shall not be used as a precedent in any other case, especially for enactment of charter of private sector universities/ institutions.

The HEC placed amendments before the Standing Committee and the committee recommended that the bill may be passed by the National Assembly with amendments.

However, the opposition members opposed the bill and submitted a Note of Dissent.

The committee also recommended to approve, “The Pakistan Global Institute Bill, 2021” (Government Bill).

The committee deferred the other government bills and a private member’s bill, namely, “The Pakistan Institute of Education Bill, 2021”, “The Iqbal Academy Pakistan Bill, 2021”, and “The NCS-Institute of Sciences Bill, 2021” (moved by James Iqbal, MNA) till its next meeting.

The committee discussed the current admission policy in the ICT schools.

The director (academic), Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) briefed that the children of residents of the ICT, children of federal government/ semi government employees residing in Islamabad are eligible for admission with the location as close as possible to their residences.

Priority is given to the residents of same Union Council/ Sector, whichever, the case may be.

However, the children belonging to same family are accorded preference for admission in the institutions where their brothers/ sisters are already enrolled. She apprised that admission tests are conducted for admission to institutions, where the number of applicants for admission exceeds intake capacity of the institution.

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