Faisalabad Institute Students Suffer Delay In PhDs
THE Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, has laid up trouble for some PhD scholars owing to its own alleged confusion over the requirement of the General Record Examination (GRE) for the award of PhDs.
The aggrieved scholars have been running from pillar to post to make the QAU administration realise the situation which has been causing an unjust delay in the award of PhDs to them but to no avail.
Some MPhil leading to PhD students of the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad, affiliated with the Quaid-i-Azam University are allegedly being delayed the award of degrees by the university despite the fact that their PhD theses had been submitted for evaluation along with the reports from foreign referees.
Talking to The News, NIBGE, Faisalabad, PhD scholars, including Muhammad Ilyas and Syed Ali Imran Bokhari, said their admission dates were September 13, 2004 (batch I) and 15 February 2005 (batch II) which were well before the cutoff date of the Higher Education Commission, May 31, 2005, for requirement of GRE (subject) for PhD in Pakistan.
The students further said that they had submitted their PhD theses for evaluation last year while reports from foreign referees were also with the university and the process was complete but their cases were deferred due to ambiguity about the requirement of GRE (subject) in meetings of the university’s Advanced Studies and Research Board held on 15-02-2010 and 06-04-2010 respectively. They claimed that the QAU authorities did not inform the students about the requirement of GRE at the time of submission of theses, adding that according to the HEC, the GRE was required at the time of submission of theses.
The PhD scholars argued that in case there was a deficiency, the students should have been informed by the QAU at the time of theses submission, adding that the university had not only accepted the theses but also processed those for foreign evaluation. They added the undue delay in the processing of the PhD theses was causing unrest and frustration among the scholars. They further said the Lahore High Court had exempted the MPhil leading to PhD students of same batches at the GC University, Lahore, from the GRE in its decision in favour of case No. 4461-2008, dated 25-08-2008.
According to documents made available to The News, one of the students of the same batch from the NIBGE (Mahmood Rasool, Reg. No. 1986-NIBGE/PhD-2005, Date of Joining, 15-02-2005) has already been awarded PhD by the QAU in June 2009 without the requirement of the GRE which is evident of the fact that this batch of PhD scholars do not require to take the GRE. The documents also reveal that an HEC official has accepted points of the students and agreed to exempt them from GRE (subject) but the QAU is reluctant to do that.
According to the documents, the QAU’s Advanced Studies and Research Board has deferred some cases of some students from the NIBGE, Faisalabad, maintaining that the Board deferred the items till the final decision regarding GRE made by the Syndicate, Quaid-i-Azam University.Talking to The News, Head Health Biotechnology at NIBGE, Faisalabad Dr Shahid Baig said he had taken up the issue with the QAU at every level, adding that it had been communicated that the university’s syndicate would decide about the requirement of the GRE. He said the problem was being faced by around 15 students of the NIBGE and the delay was causing great unrest among them as they had submitted their theses for evaluation a year ago.
To a question, Dr Baig said that dozens of students of the same batches of other institutes might be facing the same situation and a delay as being faced by the NIBGE students.
When contacted, QAU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai while referring to the minimum criteria of the HEC for MPhil/MS and PhD Programmes said that scholars enrolled in MPhil leading to PhD programme after May 31, 2005 were required to qualify the GRE no matter they were converted into the PhD Programme after the cutoff date.
The NIBGE scholars, however, contested that the registration number allotted to them by the QAU also showed them PhD students before the cutoff date announced by the HEC. They said they were even considered PhD students before the cutoff date, May 31, 2005, at the time of submitting the first six monthly progress reports.
When asked as to how a scholar of the same batch was awarded a PhD, QAU VC Dr Yasinzai said he could only comment once he got details from the university’s registrar. He further said that the matter would be decided by the university syndicate.