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Gomal Varsity VC sent on forced leave over differences with govt

PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Gov­ernor and Public Sector Univer­sity Chancellor Shah Farman sent Gomal University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iftikhar Ahmad on 90-day forced leave for opposing and criti­cising the decision of provincial government about establishment of Agriculture University in district DI Khan, said a notification issued here on Thursday.

A notification from the Higher Education Department said that the Gomal University VC also by­passed the laid down procedure in correspondence. The Governor has assigned additional charge of the post of Gomal University VC to Prof Dr Masroor Elahi Baber, DI Khan University of Agriculture VC with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, talking to media, VC Dr Masroor Elahi said that the pro­vincial cabinet on March 16, 2021 approved setting up of an Agricul­ture University DI Khan in its 52nd meeting by allowing up-gradation of the faculty of Agriculture depart­ment of Gomal University to a full-fledged agriculture university.

To a question he informed that in the past the university could not become fully functional for certain reasons but in the wake of recent decision of the KP cabinet the gov­ernment was ready to execute a comprehensive uplift plan. He in­formed that projects worth Rs4 billion were to be approved for the basic physical and organisational structure as well as facilities to op­erationalise the institution. 

Dr Masroor said that at least 80-kanal land with basic infra­structure was prerequisite of HEC for provision of developmental funds to a university, adding the Gomal University administration was asked to transfer 1000-kanal of land to Agriculture University to ensure better ground for research activities in farming, horticulture, forest and other related fields.

The VC said that a committee had already been constituted by the provincial government to de­termine the distribution of assets between Gomal University and the Agriculture University, adding that the committee was headed by Commissioner Dera whereas Secretary Agriculture, Secretary Higher Education Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and both the VCs were noted as members of the committee. Dr Masroor explained that the decision with regard to up-gradation of agriculture university was not a new proposal rather it was a follow up of consultations of Gomal University Academic Coun­cil and Syndicate with the provin­cial government.

He informed that in 2012, the Academic Council of Gomal Uni­versity passed a resolution for up-gradation of existing faculty of agriculture to an independent uni­versity as the DI Khan district was an agricultural area.

He said that in 2002 the Veteri­nary College Lahore’s up-gradation led to opening and affiliation of four new colleges in different areas of Punjab, adding the same would happen in Dera region after the implementation of decision of the provincial government and the re­gion would enter a new era of agro economic development. Referring to the overall academic activities of the varsity under existing organ­isational structure Dr Masroor said that the varsity had signed MoUs with Veterinary College Lahore, Ag­riculture University of Faisalabad and some other leading organiza­tions for capacity building of teach­ing staff and students.

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