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Senate intervenes to save Area Study Centre from extinction

The Senate on Tuesday referred the issue of Area Study Centre at the Quaid-i-Azam University to its Committee on Cabinet, seeking to save the institute from extinction. Senator Farhatullah Babar Tuesday raised the matter pertaining to the study centre during discussion on issues of public importance. “The study centre is on the verge of collapse after devolution and demise of the federal education ministry, and need to be rescued,” he said. He said that area study centres located at various universities of the country were conceived as foreign policy think tanks to give expert opinion on alternate policy options specific to geographical areas assigned to these centres in the country. “The Islamabad Area Study Centre, being one of them, was set up under the 1975 Act of Parliament,” he said, adding that after the demise of federal education ministry the Quaid-i-Azam University was left without umbrella ministry. At the same time, the decision to place the Area Study Centre under the Cabinet Division was not fully implemented and the Area Study Centre was left orphan, he added. Resultantly, he said, friction developed between the university and the centre, damaging both premier institutions of learning and research. He said that both the QAU and the Area Study Centre were products of two different legislations. “The QAU thus could not take control of the centre, as the 1975 Act of 1975 was still in operation and had not been repealed,” he maintained. Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani ruled that the matter be referred to the Senate committee dealing with the Cabinet division to examine the issue and make appropriate recommendations.

Source: Daily Times

Byline: Staff Report

December 21, 2016

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