In a move to improve the quality and merit at public sector Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Universities in the country, the government decided to establish a Special Task Force (STF) which will devise policies after thorough review of the Pay Scale System at these educational institutions. As per decision, the STF will review the Pay Scale System that was under practice at universities and HEIs for recruitments against different grades including teaching and non-teaching staffers. The information obtained by Daily Times, initially the decision was taken by the Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives that will be executed by Higher Education Commission (HEC) across the country. The STF will develop an improved pay scale system that will attract and retain top-quality HR professionals in the higher education sector. It was stated in a document prepared for said purpose by the Ministry of Planning that currently the higher education sector of the country lacks standardized pay scales, with institutions following either the Basic Pay Scale (BPS) or their own pay scales. “Some universities that adhere to the BPS are not consistently implementing the pay and allowances prescribed by the respective government. Instead, they are practicing modified versions of the BPS, with new or existing allowances above the prescribed rates,” reads the document. The document further discloses that said variations in BPS scales across universities have created salary discrepancies, resulting in demotivation, dissatisfaction, and conflicts among faculty and staff. Furthermore, it added, this situation has negatively impacted the quality of education and research in the country. “The new pay scale will be equitable, transparent, and reflective of market rates, while providing performance-based incentives and rewards for top performers,” claimed the Ministry of Planning. In the era of disruption and innovation, it stated, tertiary education plays a pivotal role in driving technology transfer and socio-economic uplift. “Due to which it believes that highly trained HR personnel are a vital component of the innovative ecosystem, contributing to paradigm shifts within the sector,” it said. The document further reads that the post-globalization era, characterized by rapid growth, the rise of digital technologies, global value chains, and increased mobility of human resources, has impacted economies worldwide, including the higher education sector. To maintain competitiveness in the global academic and research landscape and enhance the global positioning of Pakistan’s higher education sector, it was essential to have competent and highly capable faculty and staff, it added. The introduction of new competitive, performance and market-based pay scales should help attract and retain the best resources, enabling Pakistan to lead in research and academia. The Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal confirmed the development, claiming that recruiting and retaining top talent in the higher education sector is a key component to developing a knowledge economy. “Such initiatives signify the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges faced by the higher education sector in the country. By enhancing the pay scale system, the country aims to nurture an environment that rewards excellence and innovation in research and academia,” he further claimed.