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Five NED ‘professors’ without PhD degrees

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Five NED ‘professors’ without PhD degrees
« on: June 30, 2010, 06:12:01 AM »
Five NED ‘professors’ without PhD degrees
Karachi:Merit has been flouted in the promotions of the teaching faculty in one of the country’s top education institutes, as at least five departmental heads of the NED University of Engineering and Technology are holding the post of a professor without possessing a PhD degree, which is a prerequisite under the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) rules and regulations.

The university has violated the HEC’s eligibility criteria for the appointment of professors, as the Commission clearly states that the minimum qualification for the appointment of a professor in Engineering, Information Technology, and Computing disciplines in all universities and degree-awarding institutions is a “PhD degree in the relevant field”.

However, in the NED University, chairpersons of five departments — Syed Muhammad Iqbal of Environmental Engineering, Akhtar Nadyme of Electrical Engineering, Hasina Khatoon of Computer and Information System Engineering, Neelofur Master of Bio-medical Engineering and Nasreen Mujahida of Humanities — have been promoted to the position of professors despite the fact that they do not have PhD degrees.

While talking to The News, former chairman HEC Dr Attaur Rehman termed these appointments illegal and said that the HEC did not recognise their title. “The HEC does not recognize the professors and associate professors who do not have PhD degrees. Also, the HEC has the authority to take action against the people who have been illegally promoted.”

He explained that the Commission had issued rules and regulations for the appointment and promotion of professors and associate professors in 2003, declaring a PhD degree compulsory.

However, he added, the criterion was not been applicable for those professors who had been promoted before 2004. Interestingly, the aforementioned five departmental heads were promoted to the position of professor after 2004. The NED’s website clearly states that Neelofur Master of the Bio-Medical Engineering Department was appointed to the post of chairperson and professor on October 1, 2007 — some three years after the HEC set out the criteria. Similarly, Akhtar Nadyme of the Electrical Engineering Department was made professor and chairperson in July 2007 and Nasreen Mujahida of Humanities in October 2007.

Sources told The News that Hasina Khatoon of the Bio-Medical Engineering Department, who is currently pursuing a PhD degree, was appointed as professor earlier this year, whereas Syed Muhammad Iqbal of the Environmental Engineering was promoted two years ago.

Dr Rehman said that though the selection of a chairperson of a department is the university’s internal matter, the promotion of a person to the post of a professor without complying with the HEC’s requirements was illegal.

An official of the Quality Assurance of the Higher Education Commission corroborated and said that a PhD degree from an HEC-recognised university was compulsory for an associate professor and professor.

When The News contacted Pro-Vice Chancellor of the NED University Dr Shamsul Haque for his version, he said: “Professors and associate professors without a PhD degree cannot enter the university.” When he was asked about the aforementioned five chairpersons who had been promoted as professors without a PhD degree, he said: “They were made professor before the HEC’s notification and thus cannot be demoted.”

However, when he was reminded that they were all promoted after 2004, the pro-vice chancellor took back his words, saying: “All of them are drawing out salaries of associate professors but are listed as professors.” And when The News again reminded him that a PhD degree was compulsory even for an associate professor, he said, “Oh, they are on ad hoc basis.”

When The News contacted the said chairpersons, Akhtar Nadyme of the Electrical Engineering Department confirmed that having PhD was necessary for a professor. However, he refused to comment on the fact that he himself did not have a PhD degree and asked this scribe to contact the registrar. The chairperson of the Environmental Engineering Department refused to talk and said he was busy.

All the abovementioned “professors” only have MS degrees while the chairperson of the Humanities Department has an MPhil degree.THE NEWS
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