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11 years on, engineering graduates of Dawood College still waiting to be recognised

For the past 11 years, engineer Mustafa Hussain and his 63 other colleagues who bagged engineering degrees from the Dawood College of Engineering and Technology (DCET) in 2009 have been approaching the college administration and the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) to get accreditations as engineers.

However, both the college administration and officials of the engineering council are yet to decide whether Hussain and his other 63 colleagues should be given recognition or not. Despite having attended all their classes and appeared in the final year exams and supplementary exams, Hussain and his colleagues are not recognised as engineers.

According to Hussain, who now represents the Student Action Committee Old Batches 1991-96 inclusive of the affected students, the first objection raised by PEC officials to their accreditation request was that the DCET’s BE students should have passed their examinations within seven years. Their second objection was regarding a special supplementary exam organised by the DCET in 2008. The PEC is of the view that the DCET administration did not officially take the council on board about the said exam policy and degree awarding process.

“In the entire processes, students can’t be held responsible because policymakers should have considered all the legal flaws at the time of exam and degree issuance process,” said Hussain.

However, in 2019, the council issued an SRO 1142(1)/85 stating that it would register the passed-out students of all those engineering universities or institutions of Pakistan that conducted examinations and awarded degrees before 2018 even after the passage of seven academic years. After this SRO, the first objection of the PEC seems no more tenable.

The second objection is currently pending in the council’s legal branch for a legal opinion. As the issue lingers on, the 64 graduates’ suffering continues as without the recognition of their degrees, they can neither pursue higher engineering education nor get government and private jobs.

Hussain highlighted that another problem that has been creating hurdles in the way of them getting recognition from the PEC is that the NED University of Engineering and Technology had disaffiliated DCET in 1998 after failing in its bid to make the engineering college as its second campus. At that time, the PEC also abolished the DCET accreditation in connivance with the NED varsity, he claimed.

As a result of that, the annual and special supplementary examinations 2005 and 2008 were held very late and the students’ education was disrupted due to the conflict between the NED University and the college administration over the control of the college.

The students, who had no role in the conflict, had to suffer its consequences the most. Hussain alleged that the PEC had destroyed the future of 63 graduated engineers of DCET through a systemic conspiracy in connivance with the NED University.

For the last 11 years, the affected engineers have been in misery as their career, status, education and domestic life – all have been severely disrupted. According to Hussain, some of them are planning to take extreme decisions and so the government should consider their genuine issue most seriously and take prompt action in this regard.

The PEC refused to register 63 genuinely qualified engineers against the rules, regulations and prescribed laws, Hussain said. He added that the government should take strict action against all involved in the issue and tell the PEC to recognise the DUET engineers on humanitarian grounds.

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