The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad has suspended indigenous PhD and MPhil scholarships in around 150 universities. HEC reaffirmed only 66 universities for awarding indigenous scholarships of batch-V out of 200 public and private sector universities across the country.
The list of universities in the federal have been approved for scholarships includes National University of Modern Languages (NUML), COMSATS University of Information Technology, Air University, Bahria University, Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST), Institute of Space Technology,
International Islamic University, Islamabad, National University of Sciences & Technology, National Institute of Psychology of Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Quaid-i-Azam University.
A total of 2031 ingenious scholarships were awarded for under graduate, post graduate, and PhD studies under diverse schemes during financial year 2017-18. Apart from some other schemes, the government had planned to produce 25000 PhDs locally under indigenous fellowship Program in vision 20-25. Before this, the HEC formally admitted that there is shortage of 38000 PhD scholars in the country.
The educationists are also deliberate over this decision. Former chairman of HEC, Dr Atta Ur Rehman said that after 2008, the government as well as the commission administration ruined the quality of education in varsities. Dr Rehman, who is also among the pioneers of HEC said, “Number of universities now in the country is increased very significantly but nobody focused on the quality of education.”
Criticizing the pronouncement, Atta Ur Rehman said that it was very surprising that indigenous scholarship programs, which buoyant as well as economically supported poor students, were being suspended. He said that the incumbent administration should re-store all important projects that had been shut down.
HEC chairman Dr Tariq Banuri fortified the decision. He maintained that there were quality issues in some varsities due to which they have been exempted from this program. “The quality education in our higher education sector is my first priority” he claimed and reaffirmed that no university or individual having substandard system would be given any kind of concession in this regard.