Few months ago Chief Minister (CM) Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik, announced that his coalition Government will distribute laptops among students as Shehbaz Sharif did in Punjab. Administration of University of Balochistan (UOB) didn’t update the students about the process of selection of students for granting of laptops.
At the beginning of October, Higher Education Commission (HEC) uploaded the lists of different universities on its website. HEC also sent a letter to UOB and asked for the names of students enrolled in M.Phil and Ph.D programs. When the names of UOB students were uploaded on HEC website the names of many deserving students like Zakir Hussain were missing.
Zakir Hussain is currently a student in Balochistan study center in M.Phil program. He obtained first Position throughout Balochistan in Journalism department and for some mysterious reasons his name was not shortlisted for the PM laptop scheme. He contacted the focal person for Laptop Program several times. Every time he was assured that his name would be added in the list but no avail.
Students were not the only ones who faced discrimination as Lectures of UOB also suffered the same practice. Amna Bano is a lecturer in chemistry department of UOB and she is pursuing her PhD in biochemistry from the same institute. She was told by the UOB administration that she can’t get a Laptop because it’s the policy of UOB that Laptops will only be distributed among students. However, during the laptop distribution ceremony Laptops were awarded to some lecturers and professors belonging from Botany, Zoology, Education and Biochemistry departments of UOB. “Laptops were awarded to those members of teaching staff of UOB who have links with the top management of University’, lamented Amna Bano.
Laptop distribution ceremony was held in UOB on 22nd October. Due to negligence of UOB officials, Laptops were handed out to students without proper verification. The UOB admin didn’t even check the original CNICs of the students who were awarded the Laptops. Students fear that some opportunistic people might have received the laptops of the absent students due to carelessness of UOB administration. 1000 students were shortlisted for grant of Laptops in UOB and only 400 students were provided with Laptops during distribution ceremony.
The laptops were awarded mostly to the students who belonged to a specific ethnic denomination, alleged Attaulah Baloch Chairman of Baloch Students Front. He further said that Baloch Students were ignored during the laptop distribution ceremony. Other Student leaders have also claimed that a lobby belonging to PKMAP has occupied UOB and making decisions against the interests of Baloch students.
Author is M.Phil scholar at University of Balochistan.
Published in The Balochistan Point on October 25, 2014.