ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has decided to introduce an online system for degree verification.In a notification issued here on Sunday, HEC’s Executive Director, Dr Arshad Ali, has directed that the degrees, certificates and diplomas will be verified only by the HEC whereby the universities will not be authorised to do so.The purpose of the new system is to ease the matters regarding the verification of degrees.According to the current system of the HEC, the degrees are being verified from the Karachi, Quetta and Lahore’s regional offices whereas it will soon be made online all around Pakistan.Students will upload their degrees after scanning it in HEC’s online system which will be linked to National Database and Regulation Authority (NADRA).In the first step, the student’s identity will be verified.The HEC is also making a Pakistan qualification register where the degree programme details of all government and private universities will be present. However; a student’s degree will fail to get verified if the details of his degree programme are not there in the register.Moreover, HEC will also give access of the database to the controller examination of all the universities so that the scanned degree is also checked by them.AIOU promotes research in horticulture sector: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) will come out with new academic programmess for promoting research in the gardening and the horticulture sector.The existing department of agriculture sciences is being strengthened for this purpose, said Vice Chancellor, Prof.Dr. ShahidSiddiqui, while addressing a prize distribution ceremony held here for the gardenerson winning top positions, in the recently held national-level flower shows.Moreover, he added, the university haf also prepared a plan for improving the working condition of low-grade employees, enabling them to deliver the best possible services in their respective disciplines. The welfare plan included upgradation of medical and housing facilities and employees’ promotions to their next grade, he added.Dr. Siddiqui noted that the AIOU’s gardeners had proved their worth in promoting a healthy environment in the federal capital.Lush green gardens and lawns had not only added beauty to the surroundings but also had made a positive impact on the environment, he remarked.