NED calls for a dramatic reversal to progress: Altaf Shakoor

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Karachi: Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Altaf Shakoor here Tuesday demanded announcement of a new strategy on the occasion of centennial celebrations of NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi to ensure turnaround of the prestigious varsity and keep it out of political influence of successive governments.

Altaf Shakoor, himself a graduate of NED and past president of its students union, said that now time has come to keep away this university from the influence of ruling Pakistan People’s Party, as the politicians would surely try their best to ruin this prestigious varsity of Pakistan for their vested interests.

He said that this is an era of tough competition and the NED University could not progress till it gets much needed turnaround. He said that many engineering universities of Pakistan that were established after the NED varsity are much ahead of it due to professional management and better competition.

He said if the NED wants to hold its 100 year celebrations in a befitting manner, the alumni of the varsity has to come forward boldly. He said the responsibility of the alumni does not end with renovation of classrooms as announced in the ceremony. He said that the alumni should come forward to take over their varsity.

He said using the NED for political purposes is just shameful. He asked why the research projects done in this university are not successful on commercial basis. He said that in the present circumstances the NED university needs drastic change in many sectors so that it could be run as per the needs and requirements of present era.

He also demanded overhauling of engineering education system in Pakistan and introduce new technologies that are in high demand in fast changing job market.

He said that on the occasion of the 100 year celebrations, the big gift that we could give to the NED University is to rid it from the government control and run it on the model of shared governance.

He said that the shared governance is a structure and process for partnership, equity, accountability, and ownership. It puts the responsibility, authority, and accountability for practice-related decisions into the hands of the individuals who will operationalize the decision. He suggested that this system would greatly help in turnaround of the NED University and place it on the list of top engineering universities of the world.

He reiterated that the best gift for NED on its 100th anniversary would be to free it from all political shackles. Let NED be the first shared-governed university in Pakistan. Let the real stakeholders of engineering education steer the university into the prevailing world. Let NED be free of all quotas and get students and faculty members hired on merit.

He said currently NED is generating only 25% in revenue to cover expenses. Rest of 75% is provided by HEC, philanthropists and Alumni. HEC budget has been slashed to 50% which means NED will not get the financial assistance, it used to get in the past. This situation is very alarming and higher management and Board should respond proactively instead of waiting for the time when situation will get much worse.

He hoped that if corrective measures were taken urgently, NED will find it’s due position in the emerging world of technology.

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