Muhammad Tayyeb

PESHAWAR: At a time when the University of Peshawar is in dire straits over financial crisis, a revelation of minting of commission by junior and senior officers of the university in verification of degrees has surfaced.

According to documents received through Right to Information (RTI) law, it was decided in the 412 syndicate meeting of the university in 2012 that four officers of the university secrecy — controller examinations, deputy controller, registrar and verification assistant – will receive 8 percent funds from the money received for verification of academic degrees. The said amount would be further divided among these officers with the percentage of 40, 50, 30 and 20 percent.

The RTI documents show that controller examinations will receive 50 percent, deputy controller examinations will receive 30 percent, and verification assistant will receive 20 percent from the amount submitted by students for local verification of degrees. In the head of foreign academic degrees verification charges, the registrar is receiving 40 percent, controller examinations 40 percent and verification assistants are receiving 20 percent share.

Under the syndicate decision of 2012, the verification assistants are not receiving over-time. Students say the university is currently receiving Rs1,000 fee for verification of degrees. Thousands of academic degrees are verified every year and the university receives millions of rupees in this head. Similarly, the commission on this amount is also huge which ends up in specific pockets.

The revelation has come at a time when the university is battling severe financial crisis and it is unable to pay salaries to its employees and pensions to retired employees.

Massive protests were held by the university employees during last few days against cut in their salaries. The situation deteriorated to an extent that police had to use baton charge against the protesting employees including teachers. Talks were held with the government after long protests and they finally agreed to suspend protest after government assurance of resolving the issue within few days.

The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (Fapuasa) warned of starting protest again if the problems its members were not resolved within one week. Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Higher Education Kamran Bangash said the provincial government is working to resolve the issue.

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