The Fake Degree Reality of Devolution of HEC
Following the dissolution of HEC, the core function of degree recognition, equivalence and attestation is to be shifted to a new Commission to be constituted UNDER the Cabinet Division. The HEC is an autonomous body reporting directly to the Prime Minister and NOT any division. Two thirds of its members are appointed by the Prime Minister from a panel of three names of eminent academics. These members are appointed for a four-year term and may not be removed, save on proven charges of corruption, inefficiency, permanent disability. This structure is what gives the HEC Autonomy and allows it to pursue its function with merit and rule of law as the only arbiters. This is what allowed the HEC to defy every pressure and not verify degrees of Parliamentarians that did not meet the strict standards of verification set by the Commission. Without autonomy, a new Commission will then presumably rapidly clear the backlog of unverified degrees of parliamentarians.
The Supreme Court in its landmark judgment had asked the Election Commission to get the degrees of the Parliamentarians verified by the HEC. The dissolution of the HEC and movement of its core function of degree recognition and maintenance of standards UNDER the Cabinet Division means the Government would now have direct control on whose degree to recognize, and whose to not recognize. If this is not CONTEMP of the Supreme Court, What is?
The new Commission working UNDER the Cabinet Division would also have the power to recognize new universities being formed all over the country that are substandard and do not meet the existing Cabinet Criteria for a university. Already, many such cases have been blocked by the HEC and not granted recognition since they do not have faculty, libraries, internet connectivity and are housed in few room structures. By granting recognition to such entities, the degrees of ALL Pakistani Universities will become suspect.
The HEC attests more than 200,000 educational documents each year. Every Pakistani going for work abroad MUST have their degrees attested by the HEC which is recognized by the entire world to be a fair and impartial body whose attestation is accepted at face value. The HEC is a Board Member of the Asia Pacific Quality Network and is a member of the Network of Quality Assurance Agencies of the World. This membership has to be earned and is NOT Transferrable. The World has faith in the degrees of Pakistani universities because of HEC. By creating a new Commission, ALL degrees issued by Pakistani Institutions will NOT be accepted at face value despite any stamp that any new Commission may issue. The world is carefully following the fake degree scandal of Pakistani Parliamentarians and can see what the dissolution of HEC entails.
The shift of HEC degree recognition and attestation function to the Cabinet Division has NOTHING to do with DEVOLUTION and everything to do with Parliamentarians with Fake Degrees.