ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: After a span of 40 years, the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is set to allocate special quota for students holding domicile of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Dawn has learnt reliably.
QAU was established in 1971 and admission to it was open for students from all four provinces under predetermined quota (see table). Students from the ICT were clubbed together with those from Punjab in this system.
“Being a federal institution QAU provides admission to all regions of the country as per the approved quota but they are all academically-sound individuals who fulfil the merit determined by the pre-university academic record,” a QAU official told Dawn.
Admissions are also offered on regional quota basis and self-financed education scheme where students are admitted to departments on an open merit basis without any regional quota.
Most recently, seats for students from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas for Fall Semester-2012 were increased without affecting the seats of other areas but no provision was made for students from ICT.
The vice-chancellor of the QAU Prof Masoom Yasin Zai, told Dawn: “After the 18th Constitutional Amendment the federal area has a provincial status and is a federal unit of the country. Every province is given a quota as per its set allocation on merit for admission into QAU therefore we are considering that quota for the federal area students will be separated from Punjab.”
He added: “The population of the city is almost 1.8 million. The ICT area citizens have their domicile of the capital city and their kids need separate seats for admission in to the QAU. The matter will be taken to the Senate’s Standing Committee, which is already considering jobs in basic pay scale 1 and 2 for the local residents.”
When Dawn inquired about the procedure of allocation of new quota for students with Islamabad domiciles, he replied: “I will first take up the matter in our statutory body and later put it on the agenda of the syndicate.
Once consent is given by the syndicate we will send the recommendations for the final approval of the chancellor [who is the President].”
To a question about whether existing quota of the provinces would be disturbed if the seats for the ICT quota are increased, he said: “We will devise a strategy once we have had a consultation with all the stakeholders – statutory bodies, the syndicate and the local politicians – and the modalities have been finalised.”
He said that recently the syndicate – the highest decision-making body of the QAU — has approved a local quota of jobs for local residents.
Prof Zai concluded: “QAU will serve as the key education learning institution for the capital city and rest of the country since the affiliation of the federal colleges will be switched from the University of the Punjab (UOP) to the QAU this year, which will benefit several thousands.”Dawn.