NA body okays University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill 2020

ISLAMABAD   -   National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training (FEPT) on Monday approved ‘The University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill, 2020’ with amendments despite opposition members dissenting note.

The committee met at Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) under the chairmanship of Mian Najeeb-ud-Din Awaisi, MNA.

During briefing, Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC) Shaista Sohail informed the Committee that earlier, the bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Science and Technology and the same has been referred to the Standing Committee on Federal Education. 

She said that the government has directed the HEC to initiate the case for establishment of a university in Islamabad with the focus on engineering and emerging technologies. 

Accordingly, a draft bill of the proposed university was prepared in line with the Federal Universities Ordinance, 2002. 

She said that being a public sector initiative for establishment of a university for imparting quality education in the field of engineering and emerging technologies, HEC recommends the instant case to an extent of processing of act. 

The proposed university, upon promulgation of act, shall be required to obtain NOC based on affirmative assessment by the Accreditation Committee of HEC in the light of Federal Cabinet criteria for fulfilment of physical, academic and financial requirements before commencement of academic activities. 

She informed the committee that approval shall not be used as a precedent in any other case, especially for enactment of charter of private sector universities/institutions. 

The HEC placed amendments before the Standing Committee and the committee recommended that the bill may be passed by the National Assembly with amendments. 

However, the opposition members opposed the bill and submitted a note of dissent.

The Committee also recommended to approve ‘The Pakistan Global Institute Bill, 2021’ (Government Bill). 

The committee deferred other government bills and a private member’s bill namely, ‘The Pakistan Institute of Education Bill, 2021’, ‘The Iqbal Academy Pakistan Bill, 2021’ and ‘The NCS-Institute of Sciences Bill, 2021’ moved by James Iqbal, MNA till its next meeting.

The Committee also discussed the current admission policy in ICT schools. The Director (Academic) Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) briefed that children of residents of Islamabad Capital Territory, children of federal government/semi-government employees residing in Islamabad are eligible for admission with the location as close as possible to their residences. 

She said that tests are conducted for admission to institutions where the number of applicants for admission exceeds intake capacity of the institution. 

The committee directed the Ministry and FDE to coordinate with any of three members from the committee to devise a policy for admissions in ICT schools.

Chairman FBISE also briefed the committee regarding working and performance of the FBISE. He informed the committee about the functions/responsibilities, achievements, policy proposals for improving current examination system and future plans. 

The committee appreciated the passion and efforts of the Chairman FBISE for improving the proficiency of the institution.

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