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Islamic Renaissance in Pakistan

Senate body asks govt to release more funds for IIU



Tuesday, July 22, 2008


ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Education reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of higher education in the country. The committee met here at the International Islamic University (IIU) with Senator Razina Alam Khan in the chair.

It urged the government to release more funds for the IIU, which was currently facing severe economic crunch, adding that at least the recurrent budget be released without any delay, said a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat here on Monday.

The committee took exception to the delay in the release of the third quarter funds, which are to be provided through the HEC, to the IIU and said it would take up the matter with the quarters concerned, both at the HEC and the finance ministry level.

"This university should be a model in the entire Muslim world, but this objective could only be achieved when it is provided with adequate funds and complete autonomy," it observed. The committee emphasised the need for imparting knowledge with a clear Islamic perspective. It urged the university to strive to become a corner of excellence by bringing about qualitative improvement and acquiring the services of a highly-qualified faculty.

Only in this manner, the dream of reviving the glorious Muslim traditions of learning and the Islamic educational renaissance could become a reality, it said. The committee members asked the IIU administration to make special efforts for the promotion of social sciences and to strive for winning international recognition by virtue of higher standards.

The committee commended the efforts of the IIU in spreading the light of education and its commitment to quality education in the country despite the odds it was facing.

The Senate body asked the government to implement the four-year undergraduate programme across the country, so that there was uniformity and consistency. It urged the philanthropists and affluent sections of the society to help the management of the university overcome its current difficulties. Earlier, the IIU president said it was the first ever visit by a parliamentary committee to the university.

He said the IIU made a humble beginning in 1985 with only 120 students, but now, it had more than 14,000 students and nearly 250 faculty members, most of them holding PhD degrees. Students from 46 countries are studying in the university and their number is close to 1,500, which include 550 Chinese students, he said.

He added that this year, about 7,000 students took the entry test.

The IIU president said it was expected that the number of students might reach 30,000 within the next 5-10 years. At present, there are nine faculties, including that of engineering and technology, which has been granted reorganisation by the PEC recently, he said.

He informed the committee that the present resource crunch was so severe that the IIU had to borrow Rs 70 million from banks on high interest rates to pay salaries to the teachers, as the third-quarter fund was yet to be released.

"We have been asked to freeze the expenses at the last-year level, but the problem is there has been unprecedented increase in the prices of the POL, electricity, etc. Additionally, we have to give the 20 per cent pay raise announced by the government to our employees, whose number is 2,500," he said.

We have no provision to account for these expenses in our budget, he added.

Our degrees are recognised the world over and the teaching faculty is highly qualified, the IIU president said. The committee assured its support to promote the cause of higher education in the country.

The meeting was attended by Senators Tahira Latif, Dr Abdul Khaliq Pirzada, Dr Muhammad Said, Liaquat Ali Bangulzai and Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan besides the faculty members and senior staff of the university.

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