Country’s PhD brains left briefless by HEC despite its pledge for their jobs

ISLAMABAD, Jun 4 (APP): As many as 500 country’s PhD brains, who
completed their higher studies from abroad and within country have been mercilessly left stranded and briefless by Higher Education Commission notwithstanding its clarion commitment for providing them jobs in the universities.
Talking to APP scribe about their pathetic plight, PhD scholars
regretted that HEC had inked a bond with universities’ management and scholars under which they were bound to return to the country, stay for five years and teach in the universities for one year, but they were left in lurches and continue to be unemployed since long.
The varsities are bound to induct and provide them jobs through an
advertisement in the national dailies on their performance, they expressed further lamenting, HEC failed to get the PhD scholars adjusted against jobs on intern basis, who had completed studies on scholarships.
At present there are around 10,000 PhD scholars in the country, they
pointed out stressing, there was also a pressing need of 38,000 more PhD scholars as stipulated by the Chairman HEC, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad during the “Vision 2025 Conference” held here recently.
The PhD scholars including Dr Waqas, Dr Shehri, Dr Syeda Samra and Dr Qasim opined that HEC’s commitment of absorbing them in the universities turned out to be a jam tomorrow, leaving them jobless.
They further stated that HEC had to foot expenses ranging from seven to ten million on one PhD scholar, thus the government expended hefty amount from the national exchequer, enabling PhD scholars to get higher studies completed abroad.
But the Commission, they expressed never lived up to its commitment which not only led to drain of financial resources from national kitty spent on them but their higher education also went unutilized.
During the honorary period, the scholars were paid an amount of 130,000 each per month by HEC equal to Grade 19 regular professor for one year, they expressed gratitude adding, but after that they were never inducted in the universities and remained jobless which speaks volumes of Commission’s bad planning towards PhD scholars .
The universities are violating the HEC rules as scholars are paid stipend by the commission, they claimed adding, the universities off and on offer PhD scholars the positions as visiting faculty member.
The HEC is thus duty-bound to pursue the universities for implementing the agreement regarding bonds signed with them in true spirit instead of doing away with the scholarships scheme, which they maintained was not solution to the issue.
Instead of resolving the issue, the HEC started getting the scholars bound that they would not force the commission for providing them jobs after returning to the country and completing one year of intern period, another scholar, Dr Qasim said.
Dr Shehri – an unemployed PhD degree holder said that if HEC was not well-positioned towards providing jobs to the scholars, it should then not have made them bound that they would return to serve their beloved country.
He urged the Commission to give them open option to either return home or stay abroad for getting jobs to arrange bread and butter for their families in a respectable manner.
On the one hand, HEC viewed country needed 38000 more PhD scholars till 2025, while on the other side, its commitments for providing them employment proved damp squib, they noted with concern.
“As many as 1500 dollars are spent as monthly stipend on a scholar for studying abroad besides other expenses, while those who completed their PhD degrees in the country were also sent abroad for six months for research work expending huge money”, a scholar Dr Syeda Samra told.
HEC, she lamented did not have any proper mechanism in place under which higher education of PhD scholars could be wielded for nation- building through teaching in the universities.
Several PhD scholars have been facing unemployment for the last three years, she said adding, HEC should compel the universities to follow its rules in true spirit by arranging jobs for them in the universities, Dr Samra added.
Meanwhile, President All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association Dr Kaleem Ullah told APP that HEC despite investing millions of rupees on these scholars, was unable to adjust them in the academic institutions.
HEC should be seized of the gravity of festering issue, he said vociferously demanding to protect the PhD scholars from further consternation about their future.