LARKANA: As many as seven candidates for the prestigious post of the Vice Chancellor, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) have been shortlisted after scrutiny by the Search Committee out of 20 candidates who had applied for the post, it was learnt here on Wednesday.
Search Committee headed by Dr. Tariq Rafi and consisted of Dr. Noahsad Shaikh, Dr. Saeed Qureshi and interview call letters have been issued to the successful candidates. Those who have received the letters include Prof. Ali Akbar Bhand, Prof. Saifullah Jamro, Prof. Zulfiqar Soomro, Prof. Safdar Shaikh, Prof. Javed Akbar Siyal, Prof Iqbal Afridi and Prof. Qurban Rahu and their interviews are expected to be held on 9th December at the office of Higher Education Commission of Sindh.
The post of VC fell vacant after the tenure of Prof. Dr. Aneela Attaur Rahman tenure ended on 29th September, 2022 and Prof. Dr. Hakim Ali Abro was posted to look after the post of VC but his posting was disputed by Prof Ali Akbar Bhand who filed a petition in the Sindh High Court being the senior most candidate in the merit list.
While the sources alleged that some circles of the Sindh government, including the Secretary, Universities and Boards Department, Muhammad Mureed Rahmon, are angry with the decision of the search committee on the merits, because the shortlisted candidates does not include government-supported candidates.
A member of the search committee and an officer holding an important position in the University and Boards Department, on the condition of anonymity, said that every effort is being made to suspend the interviews scheduled on 9th December or in some other way government-supported personalities could be added in the list of seven candidates, while the head and members of the search committee are adamant that no such action will be taken by deviating from merit. None of the applicants for the vice-chancellor post is a PhD degree holder except one.
The Sindh government had approved a summary a few months ago, according to which the condition of a PhD with at least 20 international level research papers were abolished and an official or non-official person of grade 17 was declared eligible as a candidate to become vice-chancellor.
Except Sindh, the sources further claimed that the age limit for the position of vice-chancellor in the other three provinces of Pakistan is 65 years whereas 62 years has been fixed for Sindh, the advertisement for the vacancies of vice chancellor for 9 universities of Sindh has been jointly published while the current eligibility criteria is many times less than the criteria of other three provinces of Pakistan and Higher Education Commission.