Six organizations of the IT Ministry have been run headless since long which is hampering their performance.
This was revealed in the Senate Standing Committee on Science and Technology which met with Mushtaq Ahmad Khan in the chair here on Tuesday and was attended among others by Senator Hidayatullah, Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Kamran Michael and senior officers from the Ministry of Science and Technology, HEC, PSQCA, PCSIR, COMSATS along with all concerned.
The committee took up various issues of importance including irregularities in seniority list of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), details of on-going corruption cases at Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and pending promotion cases at both organizations. In addition to this development of an ecosystem for promotion and glamorization of Science and Technology and status of on-going projects were discussed in detail.
The meeting commenced with details of the fact-finding committee regarding irregularities in the seniority list of the officers of PCSIR. Members were informed that the matter was resolved as per recommendations of the Committee. A final seniority list will be submitted to the Ministry at the earliest. The Committee was also informed that a list of all eligible promotion cases have been submitted to the Ministry. Mushtaq Ahmad was of the view that organizations under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) must ensure that system is formulated to ensure promotions on time so that such disputes do not arise.
The committee while discussing the investigation into corruption in the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority was informed that there are 7 cases being worked on which have some procedural errors. While discussing details of corruption cases at PSQCA, the Committee took strict notice of officers not being suspended during investigations. It was asserted that this would impact inquiry outcome and was important to ensure transparency.
Committee chairman said that it was recommended one year ago to suspend corrupt people. If corrupt officials are sitting in high positions, how will the investigation be transparent?
The committee directed that two officers should be suspended immediately. Committee chairman said that ghost employees are sitting abroad and salaries have been sent to their accounts. These cases should be sent to NAB, said Kamran Michael. The NAB only has to arrest the political people, he added. Chairman of the committee said such cases can also be sent to the FIA.
While discussing the progress on the initiation of a dual degree program by COMSATS, the Committee directed the HEC to withdraw the Court case against it.
Mushtaq Ahmad lauded the on-going projects under the umbrella of MoST and said that all possible steps must be taken so that timelines are met. This, he said, was imperative to the progress of the country. Details of six projects were shared with the Committee.
Reviewing the details of developing an ecosystem that will promote and glamorize Science and Technology in the country, the Committee was of the view that development of a central ecosystem that is governed by a common platform is imperative to the progress of the country. The Committee took strong notice of a dearth of meeting of the National Commission on Science and Technology, since 2002. Chairman Committee, Senator Mushtaq Ahmad said that meetings must be conducted on a regular basis as this was the only way forward to success. He asserted that a meeting of the Executive Committee be called immediately.