PESHAWAR: The funds allocated for fee-waiver of the internally displaced students of the Islamia College University (ICU) hailing from different districts of Malakand division could not be disbursed among them while the university authorities are unaware of its details.
Sources told The News that the USAID, through the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, had sent an amount of Rs17 million to the ICU for fee-waiver of the students belonging to the militancy and military operation-affected districts of Malakand, including Dir and Swat, for the session 2009-10.
Students Affairs Director Sikandar Khan was responsible for reimbursement of the fees to the affected students, but he failed to distribute the funds and provide details to the university accordingly, the sources said.
The university was without a vice-chancellor for seven long months. However, the deans committee of the university in its meeting on December 21, 2010 formed a committee under Prof Dr Haider Shah, dean Faculty of Natural Sciences, who is nowadays also serving as acting vice-chancellor of the university, to look into the distribution of the funds among the affected students.
The committee asked the director student affairs to place details of the funds before the committee, which was asked to submit its findings within a week, the sources said. The probe committee could meet only once after its formation during the past seven months, wherein it failed to reach any conclusion, the sources said. The director students’ affairs did not appear before the committee, the sources added.
When contacted, Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Haider Shah said he took over as VC in March, 2011 while the issue cropped up before that. “When I took the acting charge, there were a lot of other issues to address. Therefore, optimum attention could not be focused on this particular issue,” he said. However, the funds had been allocated on the basis of the lists of the affected students submitted to the HEC and the USAID by the university, he said.
The officials responsible for reimbursement of the fees to students are of the opinion that the funds are being provided to the students in accordance with those lists, he added. When asked that the USAID had decided not to provide more funds to the university under the same head due to its failure to submit details of funds already given to it, he said he would be able to comment on the matter after asking the concerned officials.
Sikandar Khan, director students’ affairs, could not be reached for comment despite several attempts. His cell phone was found switched off. The sources said a monitoring team visited the university to inquire about the distribution of funds. The university management failed to give details of the funds amounting to Rs17 million to the team, which decided that more funds would not be extended to the ICU till fair disbursement of the amount already given to it.
The USAID, through the HEC, had also provided Rs27 million to the University of Peshawar for fee-waiver of the students hailing from Malakand division for the session 2009-10. The University of Peshawar provided details of the funds to the same monitoring teams, which approved Rs27 million more for reimbursement of fees to the students for the session 2010-11, the sources added.Dawn.