ISLAMABAD: The Senate body on Federal Education & Professional Training on Thursday directed the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) administration to take measures for issuance of the Philosophy of Doctorate degree to one of its scholars within 15 days which has been withheld for the last eight years. The senate standing committee during public petition hearing was informed that the delay of eight months in publishing of article in the research journal by students has led to eight years’ delay in issuance of PhD degree to him. The student Waqar Zaidi claimed that the non-issuance of his degree was an act of victimisation by the university administration. The meeting was held to hear the public petitions filed by individuals to resolve their longstanding issues with educational departments. Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed chaired the committee meeting. The committee took the petition of Waqar Zaidi, a PhD scholar from the Management Sciences department of NUML, who alleged that the university administration has deliberately delayed the issuance of his PhD degree for the last eight years, causing damage to his professional and academic career. The petitioner claimed that despite of completing his PhD course work and publishing of the article as per requirement, the university administration is not awarding him with the degree. The petitioner was enrolled in the PhD degree programme in 2004 and submitted his course work in 2010, while was able to publish his article in the Higher Education Commission (HEC) recognised journal after his defense of thesis. NUML Academics Director Dr Muhammad Uzair, however, discarded the allegations leveled by the student and informed the committee that the petitioner failed in meeting all requirements for PhD degree in the specified time period. He said that Waqas Ahmed submitted his PhD thesis on September 24, 2010 without completing a mandatory requirement of published article/acceptance letter from HEC’s recognised research journal. However, his thesis was processed and defense was arranged on March 2, 2016, but the notification of degree was withheld as he could not produce article/acceptance letter. The committee was also informed that despite of passing eight months he could not produce the article /acceptance letter and his case was placed in Board of Advance Studies and Research (BASR) meeting held in 2016 which gave him last six months extension for fulfillment of the requirement of article. He said that the scholar was issued warning letters to meet the requirement in specified time, but after failing in fulfilling the requirement, BASR decided to strike off his name from the university role. The university official in his reply also said that BASR in its 4th meeting struck off all such scholars who could not fulfill any of the requirements for award of degree despite availing extra duration/ extensions after issuance of SOR letter it is not possible to reopen a case of an individual as it will not only be a violation of rules but would also compromise the standard of quality of the degree beside undermining the authority of BASR. Meanwhile, the committee chairman Rana Maqbool Ahmed expressing concerns on the delaying in issuance of the degree for the PhD scholar remarked that the higher educational institutions worldwide work to facilitate the students while “we are completely opposite of that system for our students”. “A student who completed coursework of PhD in 2010 is running from pillar to post to get his degree in 2018,” Rana Maqbool Ahmed remarked. He directed Education Secretary M Arshad Mirza and the university administration to take measures for issuance of the degree for the student and present the reasons for delaying in the process within 15 days. The committee deferred the hearing of another public petition filed by Javed Iqbal regarding the adoption of alternative way for foreign foundation degree holders addressed to the chairman senate, until next meeting of the committee. Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2018.