off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Intellectual corruption 
in our medical institutions


Higher Education Commission has been doing a commendable job helping the medical universities and other institutions of higher learning to develop their faculty. During the last couple of years it has sent hundreds of bright students, young faculty members overseas for training some of which have returned completing their training and are making useful contribution in their respective institutions. However, what the HEC cannot do and is entirely up to the higher administration of medical universities and other institutions is to select the right candidate who are not only keen to improve their qualifications but are also interested and would return to Pakistan after completing their higher education so that the country can benefit from the investment made in their education and training. But sometimes, the selections are not made on merit but on other considerations and this intellectual corruption in our institutions of higher learning must be checked.

According to reports, one of the young faculty members of a medical university applied for a scholarship for a Master’s degree from a university from Europe. He appeared in the interview and got selected and completed all the required documents. Higher Education Commission is also reported to have sanctioned an amount of twenty five thousand Pounds but then suddenly, the university administration informed him that they had selected someone else for this scholarship. The gentleman selected happened to be the son-in-law of another faculty member who yields lot of political influence in power corridors. Thus his name was replaced.

The young doctor who had earlier been promised and had also got selected through test, found himself in a very difficult situation. Since he had already made up his mind to go for this Master’s programme, he decided to arrange his own funding and got admission. The gentleman who was selected instead, within a year divorced his wife to dispose of this extra luggage. Not only that, he could not complete the Master’s programme successfully as he had some other interests. On the other hand the gentleman, who was denied this scholarship at the last minute, completed his Masters successfully, came back to Pakistan and is now serving at one of the medical institutions in Pakistan.

Yet in another case, the selection committee in one of the undergraduate medical colleges is reported to have rejected some one working as a Senior Registrar in the same institution for the last couple of years with double fellowship from the CPSP for the post of Assistant Professor but selected some one who had done FCPS more recently. The reason, it is alleged, was that the Senior Registrar was working with a Professor who is not on good terms with the head of the institution these days. People at higher level, if they have some issues between themselves should sort it out among themselves but refrain from punishing others for no fault of their. Those who suffer at the hands of administration under such circumstances’ will naturally curse them. It will also pollute the working environment. Heads of these institutions indulge in such intellectual corruption to help friends, secure their future or prolong their rule. Let us hope and pray that heads of our medical institutions, who are supposed to be role models for their juniors, refrain from such acts of intellectual corruption, uphold merit and select more competent and intelligent people which will strengthen the faculty. As it is said, an institution is only as good as its faculty.{jcomments on}