Engr Kalam, now 90 years old, was given the top job at NED University of Engineering and Technology by then-Governor Kamal Azfar in December 1996. He has, since then, completed four four-year terms.
However, as a search committee formed by present Governor Ishratul Ebad conducted its first meeting on Sunday to review applicants for the VC’s post, there were reports that Engr Kalam’s name did not come up for consideration.
“Kalam has admirably served for an extended period of time, despite the fact that he does not hold a doctorate degree,” a member of the committee told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity. “[Kalam] requested the Governor to relieve him from the responsibility, and the search committee agreed to consider candidates with PhDs, as per Higher Education Commission guidelines,” claimed the official.
Headed by Karachi University VC Prof. Dr Mohammad Qaiser, the six-member NED search committee kicked off the appointment process on November 8 when it asked candidates to submit applications for the coveted post. Dow University of Health Sciences VC Prof. Masood Hameed Khan, Institute of Business Administration Director Dr Ishrat Husain, Ziauddin University VC Prof. Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Isra University Hyderabad VC Dr Qazi Asadullah, and a HEC representative make up the rest of committee.
A total of 15 candidates had applied for the post by the deadline of November 23. In its first meeting, the search committee reportedly short-listed eight candidates for interviews, including NED University’s pro-vice chancellor Prof Dr Muzaffar Mahmood, who is considered by many as the strongest candidate for the position.
Other candidates short-listed for interviews include Prof. Dr Nazimuddin Qureshi, who is NED Academy’s director general, Prof. Dr S M Makhdumi, who is the dean of engineering at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Dr Nasiruddin Khan, who is a former pro-vice chancellor of KU,
Dr Ashraf Ali, who is a professor of materials engineering at NED, Dr Afzal Ahmed, who is a professor at the National University of Science and Technology and Dr Mujeebuddin Memon, who is a professor at the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology.