Through your esteemed newspaper, I intend to draw the attention of the President of Pakistan in particular and the NIHCR towards the plight of the National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research (NIHCR), a Centre of Excellence of Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad where it is free for allowing to non-appointment of a permanent Director as head of the institution since 2011.
For the last over 10 years, the Institute is being run on Adhoc basis—giving current charges to either faculty members of the university as well as the Institute. In spite of three consecutive adverts for the appointment of a regular Director, the QAU administration seems unwilling to appoint a regular director for the Institute, reasons best known to the QAU VC.
The university authorities are running the NIHCR on adhocism on an additional charge basis in makeshift style without sensing what intellectual damages are occurring due to inordinate delay in appointing a permanent director to this institute of prime importance.
Currently, the NIHCR is under the control of one officer of the respective Centre, a blue-eyed officer of the QAU VC. Owing to one of their colleagues is at the helm of affairs, both faculty and staff take liberty in coming to the office late and going out without taking into account their responsibilities. A number of faculty members go out to privately take classes and the administration in collusion with the accounts officer calling the shots whereas staff has been burning their hearts for want of resolving their issues for the last ten years.
The NIHCR is a research body in history and culture. Its last permanent director had resigned in 2010-11. Since then the Institute is being run either by a Dean or Head of the Department of the university. During this period, in a bid to appoint a permanent director, the post was advertised thrice but every time the process was sabotaged by the university authorities in connivance with the Ministry of Education and Professional Training allegedly in order to appoint their blue eyed.
Seriousness of all the authorities concerned can be gauged from the fact that office of the Chancellor, which is President of Pakistan, plays hands in gloves with the university authorities in delaying the appointment of a permanent director of the NIHCR as in the absence of regular Directors, additional charge holders are run the affairs of the institute with impunity.
It is pertinent to note that without a captain, how a team could provide the desired results? Under the rules the post of Director is of grade 21 whereas grade 19 officer is running the show daredevil compromising his own primary responsibilities. Ad hocism has been rotting the Institute’s standing as in headless institutions neither faculty nor staff members take their work seriously. A regular head keeps an eye on the performance of his subordinates.
One fails to comprehend thrice the post of director has been advertised and every time the process was quashed after lengthy procedure of shortlisting and interviews. Unluckily the Ministry, as well as the university authorities, could not find the right person from all over the country allegedly at the behest of vested interests.
This phenomenon is unique as nowhere are the institutions allowed to suffer for want of heads. In the country, there is no dearth of educationists of repute but unfortunately they are not given a chance to prove their mettle. Only the mediocre are promoted and encouraged. With the result, we see administrative anarchy in our institutions.
If the office of the QAU Chancellor i.e. the President of Pakistan, Ministry of Education and the QAU VC are serious toward growth of the institution then they must ensure the appointment of the NIHCR director.
The makeshift arrangements in the Centre have badly hit the functioning of the institution without a director as senior faculty members in charge remain indecisive and apprehensive on taking decisions on crucial matters. Resultantly, functioning of the Centre has been deteriorating with each passing day due to the non-seriousness of the authorities concerned.
There are many other issues, which are lying pending including the non-holding of DPC (departmental promotion committee) of the staff. The QAU authorities have always ignored the NIHCR considering as a liability and least important, which can be gauged from the fact that there are series of pending issues, which have not been redressed with the passage of time and now they have piled up.