PR No. 42 Meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology Held at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) Islamabad Campus Islamabad

The Meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Science and Technology was held at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad Campus on May 3rd , 2016 under the Chairmanship of Ch. Tariq Bashir Cheema – MNA(PMLN) and attended by Federal Minister for Science and Technology / Chancellor CIIT, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Engr. Ali Muhammad Khan – MNA(PTI), Mr. Usman Khan Tarakai – MNA(AJIP), Ms. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana – MNA (PMLN), Chaudhry Armaghan Subhani – MNA (PMLN), Chaudhry Muhammad Ashraf – MNA (PMLN), Makhdoom Syed Ali Hassan Gillani – MNA (PMLN), Mrs. Musarat Rafique Mahesar – MNA (PPPP), Ms. Shazia Mubashar – MNA (PMLN), Mr. Sahid Ahmad – MNA (MQM), Mr. Mehboob Alam – MNA (MQM), Mrs. Aliya Kamran – JUI(F), Mr. Aftab Shaban Mirani – MNA (PPP), Ms. Shahjehan – MNA(NPP), Mrs. Shamas-un-Nisa – MNA (PPPP). Mr. Muhammad Ashraf – Additional Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi, H.I., S.I., Rector, CIIT, Dr. Haroon Rashid, S.I., Pro-Rector, CIIT, Prof. Dr. Raheel Qamar T.I., Dean RIC / Incharge Islamabad Campus, Dr. Sherzada Khan, COO NTS and Air Cdr (R). Waqar Sami Khan, Secretary NTS also attended the meeting.

Members of the Standing Committee appreciated CIIT’s efforts for uplifting standards of Higher Education in Pakistan. They also congratulated CIIT for being ranked 1st among HEI’s in Pakistan in Nature index for research output. The committee showed its full confidence in CIIT’s rapid growth and wished to see it among top 500 universities of the World. The members also applauded the efforts of NTS for ensuring transparent testing mechanism in the country, which is one of its own kind having no comparison as it sets very high standards and tops among the testing services in the country. However, the committee advised NTS to further reduce the test fees being charged, to which NTS ensured its compliance in the future. The members were pleased to share that the testing mechanism of NTS has guaranteed the transparency of merit based selections in the Govt. departments, which is taken very positively at all the levels. They further urged the all Govt Depts undertaking NTS testing services to cooperate with NTS in publishing the results according to their SOPs and that NTS shall not be held responsible, in case if the Govt Dept is holding a result itself. The Committee while commending the presentation given by CIIT and NTS officials, reposed its full confidence in financial details of the NTS. The members appreciated the efforts of NTS management for guaranteeing an effective testing mechanism through its own financial resources and without any funding from the Government. The parliamentarians also praised the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) stream of NTS, through which hefty amounts have been disbursed in form of scholarships among needy and deserving students on the country.

The Standing Committee decided to put forward its recommendations pertaining to formulation of a testing framework bill comprising of detail TORs for all testing services in Pakistan and to present the same in the upcoming session of the National Assembly for approval.

The Members while strongly rejecting the propaganda against NTS maintained that all such allegations have been proved wrong after being heard and certified by the National Assembly Standing Committee on S&T in its two consecutive meetings.

The Committee while showing its concern over HEC’s direct involvement in the testing of candidates observed that it would raise questions on the transparency of awarding scholarships and other opportunities to students offered by HEC at the same time. The Federal Minister for S&T advised the committee to look into the matter of HEC while acting as a regulatory body cannot be a funding body at the same time, to which the members agreed.

Later on, the members while getting a brief visit CIIT Islamabad Campus remarked that the campus is well comparable to any foreign university campus, which is a proud moment for CIIT being a Public Sector HEI.