The FAPUASA Punjab Chapter President Prof Dr Suhail Aftab Qureshi chaired the meeting, which was attended by a large number of representatives of the associations from different universities of Punjab.
The members expressed their concern over the financial cut on education in the Federal Budget 2012-13. They viewed that such steps will result in destruction of higher education and will surely end the research culture in the universities. After a discussion, the meetings demanded that the government immediately increases the higher education budget and makes it proportional to the increase in salaries. Moreover, it should release the previously held money of the universities.
Since the universities are currently facing a lot of difficulties because of the financial cut on the education sector in the budget, this step will surely be a ray of hope for the continuation of research activities in the universities. The participants of the meeting said that many university teachers were currently suffering because of the HEC promotion policy and the criteria for the acceptance of research papers, which they demanded should be rational and based on ground realities.
The participants also expressed their concern over the issue of increased number of violence-related incidents in the universities of Pakistan. They viewed that such actions should immediately be stopped where teachers’ integrity was affected.
The participants also expressed solidarity with the Punjab University Academic Staff Association and condemned beating of a respectable faculty member by students. The meeting further resolved that the retirement age of university teachers should be increased to 65 years instead of 60 years, as promised by the HEC.
At the end of the meeting, Dr Suhail demanded of the government that appropriate steps be immediately taken to address the abovementioned issues; otherwise, they would formulate their next line of action in the forthcoming general body meeting of the FAPUASA scheduled to be held in Islamabad on June 28.