The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has pointed out irregularities caused due to impediment in a research project worth millions of rupees awarded to University of Gujrat (UoG) last year.The HEC also had directed varsity administration to conduct an impartial inquiry to determine the responsible elements for such unnecessary delay in completion of the project. However, as per HEC record the UoG has not yet come up with any kind of compliance of these directives of the commission. According to the documents available with Daily Times, a project “TDF02-123 was awarded to Dr Suleiman Tahir of Chemical Engineering Department of the varsity with title “enhanced protein recovery from broken rice, rice waste through chemical process” under TDF second call for proposal. The HEC letter stated that first instalment of the project with amount of Rs 11.257 million was released in June 2018 while university was supposed to compile and submit first year’s progress report regarding the project by July 1, 2019. As per the letter, all other stakeholders in the UoG were also formally informed by HEC about all such details of the project.“TDF project management unit (in HEC) sent in March this year sent an email to the varsity which followed by many reminders asking for submission of annual report”, reads that letter adding that “however no response of the principal investigator (in UoG) has been received yet”. According to the TDF project management unit in the HEC, due failure of physical or written response by the varsity (it is declared) nothing has been progressed in this project.The HEC said that the TDF is a PSD program and has very strict time line to match the project life. While mentioning UoG administrative fault, the HEC management annoyed that public money worth Rs 11.257 million remained in the university account for whole year but not released for execution of the said project which clearly shows that the collective negligence from university administration as well as principal investigators that, HEC said, matter of serious concern. “A fact fining inquiry to identify the responsible officials for this mismanagement and followed by disciplinary action to stop these practices in the future and possible way out to complete the project affectively. An official in the HEC disclosed that the university was given two weeks’ time to complete this inquiry and submit the report with the commission. However, the varsity did not comply with the direction of the regulatory body, adding that afterwards the HEC management also remained least bother to further peruse the matter to define point.When approached HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri refused to comment. However, another senior official wished not to be quoted said that the HEC management is thinking to send another reminder s to the varsity before making any definite decision over this mala fide practice.Meanwhile, the HEC in collaboration with the United States Education Foundation Programme (USEFP) organized an International Conference on Quality Assurance System, Standards and Policies: Issues and Challenges. While addressing the conference President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi said that Universities must focus on enhancing the quality of education and research in addition to increasing enrolments and publications.The President emphasised that universities should improve their syllabuses, bring it into consonance with social needs and the psychological needs of the students. “Education must be a pleasure, which should not keep the students under a perpetual stress of achievement.”Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training further clarified that the government intends to enhance funding for higher education for recurring as well as the development budget.He said that the government is committed to investing in education. He said it is a priority of the government to develop a single education system across the country.He lamented that Pakistan is declining in the Learning Poverty Index, adding that quality has become a challenge with the expansion of access to education.US Ambassador Mr. Paul Jones stated that the United States is proud of its educational linkages with Pakistan. “I have over three decades in diplomacy and have not seen more effective partner in education than HEC.” He said the United States has recently entered into 23 partnerships with Pakistani institutions, adding that 100 Pakistanis have been sent to the United States under the US-Pakistan Academic and Cultural Exchange Programme.