The bill to construct the much-touted university at Prime Minister House was finally introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, even though the PTI government is already in its fourth year in office, signalling that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s dream project may not be completed within his term.
The project will take 72 months to complete once it is started, according to the bill, which has already been enacted by the National Assembly.
According to reports, the government is working to have the bill passed in the Senate as soon as possible so that the institution can operate in any rented building and begin accepting applications for the upcoming spring semester.
On the orders of the Prime Minister’s Office, representatives from the Higher Education Commission and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) paid a visit to the Sir Syed Memorial Society building in G-5 last year. The PM office then received a report from the HEC and CDA confirming that the building was acceptable for establishing the institution.
The project will take six years to complete once it is started.
However, according to the sources, the final choice on which rented building to choose has yet to be made.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan introduced the University of Engineering and Emerging Technology Bill 2022 in the Senate on behalf of education minister Shafqat Mahmood.
The bill was forwarded to the Senate Standing Committee on Education for consideration by Chairman Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani.
The bill was authorised by the NA standing committee in October of last year, and the National Assembly enacted it together with the mini-budget and a few other bills last month.
According to a working document presented to the NA committee last year, the university will feature seven centres of excellence, three of which will be located in the PM house and four others in Kuri, where government land is available. The committee was told that the project would take six years to complete and that the government had already set aside Rs23 billion for it.
When asked about the three-year delay in approving the university’s charter, officials from the Ministry of Education informed Dawn that the ministry had nothing to do with the project previously and that the Ministry of Science and Technology was investigating it.
According to them, the initiative was referred to the Ministry of Education in October of last year.
“We got the law adopted by the National Assembly within a month of taking over the project.” “The bill was tabled in the Senate today,” an education ministry official said. He predicted that the bill would be approved by the Senate soon.
There are currently 141 public universities, 15 of which are dedicated to engineering and technology. Universities in the public sector have been complaining about a lack of funding. The government, on the other hand, is adamant about establishing a new university.
Vice chancellors of certain universities recently said that they were short on funding during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Education. One of them stated that they did not have enough money to buy chemicals for the university’s laboratory.