LAHORE: Fatima Jinnah Medical University (FJMU) has been functioning without a regular vice chancellor (VC) since May 2015, due to the negligence of Punjab government, which has not shown any interest towards higher medical education in the province.FJMU was one of the premier medical institutions of the country, which was established on the pattern of King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and was awarded the status of an independent degree awarding university by the Punjab government after the approval of FJMU Bill, 2015. However, the Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SHE&ME) Department has failed to appoint a VC for this university.A well-placed source in SHC&ME Department, on the condition of anonymity, told Daily Times that the FJMU has been facing many challenges. Firstly, the provincial government had blatantly ignored their opinion and passed the FJMU Bill, 2015, restricting the age of vice chancellor to 61 years, while the government itself had fixed 65 years age limit for VCs of all other public universities. However, after realising various shortcomings in the bill, the government had increased the age limit for the top position from 61 to 65 years, he added.According to law, a person would not be eligible for the post of vice chancellor unless the person is MBBS or equivalent. The candidate should have experience in undergraduate and postgraduate medical teaching including experience in administrative and financial management.While giving a solution, the source said that the government should constitute a search committee consisting of not less than three and not more than five members for making recommendations for appointment of the VC. The search committee should recommend to the government, in alphabetical order, a panel of three persons who, in its opinion are suitable to serve, as the vice chancellor and the government should appoint the best option from the list, he added.The second problem was the fate of university was still hanging as the FJMU was yet to be recognised as a registered medical university by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) even after a lapse of one and a half year, he said.A letter was written to the PMDC’s Council, asking to declare FJMU as a recognised medical university after conducting its inspection, so that postgraduate courses could be started. However, the PMDC categorically turned down this request, declaring that FJMU does not have a constituent medical college, a main requirement for registration with the council, he added. The Punjab government has established the University of Health Sciences (UHS), which had Gujranwala Medical College as its constituent college. The FJMU was awarded the status of a university in July 2015 on the pattern of the King Edward Medial University (KEMU) that too is functioning without a constituent medical college, he lamented.Secretary SHC&ME Najam Ahmad Shah said that the department is trying hard to fulfil the legal requirements of PMDC, so that the FMJU could be reorganised as a medical university. While talking about the appointment of a regular VC, Shah said that a new VC would be appointed very soon.