The establishment of an institution of higher learning in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) remained the long-standing demand of the people of this region. The plan for setting up the FATA University of international standard in FATA was finally conceived when the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani announced its establishment during a meeting with MNAs from FATA on January 16, 2009. However, the project was delayed due to a number of reasons until the former President, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, approved the FATA University Regulations in May 2013. Afterwards, Government of Pakistan included a project titled “Establishment of FATA University” in PSDP (HEC) 2015-16 at an estimated cost of Rs.4.7 billion with the allocation of Rs.250.00 million for the FY 2015-16. The full-fledged university will be completed in various phases. The FATA Secretariat, in consultation with the parliamentarians of FATA, purchased land measuring 266 kanals at Akhurwal, Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat through a development project approved by FDWP. The Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, during his visit to the university directed for the purchase of additional land in view of the university’s future requirements. The scheme for the procurement of 202 kanal, contiguous to the already purchased land was approved as a non-ADP scheme at FDWP level at a total cost of Rs.141.4 million. However, the payment to the land owners is still pending due to non-release of the approved amount.
In the meanwhile, the FATA Secretariat and Ministry of SAFRON started the process of appointment of the Vice Chancellor. The search committee constituted for the purpose interviewed, the shortlisted candidates and recommended a panel of three names for the consideration of the Chancellor/Governor KP. The Notification for the appointment of Prof. Dr. Mohammad Tahir Shah as the first Vice Chancellor of the University, after the approval of the Chancellor was issued vide FATA Secretariat Notification No. PS/E/100-96 (Vol-10) / 412-24, dated 13-01-2016 and the newly appointed Vice Chancellor assumed the charge of his office on January 18, 2016.
A project titled “Establishment of Project Management Unit (PMU)” for FATA University was approved by FDWP at a cost of Rs.31.488 million. However, the scheme was revised and approved at a revised cost of Rs. 40.008 million by the FDWP in its meeting held on February 23, 2016. Accordingly, the PMU has been established in a portion of Government Degree College, Darra Adem Khel which is responsible for the infrastructure development of the university.
Achievements (January 2016 to January 2018)
- A piece of land measuring 266 kanal has already been purchased in Akhurwal, FR Kohat during the year 2012-13.
- The activities to make the University functional were started by the Vice Chancellor, immediately after the assumption of the charge in his camp office established in the National Centre of Excellence in Geology (NCEG), University of Peshawar where he worked as Director before taking over the new assignment. The faculty and staff of the NCEG extended full support in dealing with day to day affairs to the VC and also the facilities of the NCEG were used in the initial stages which are highly appreciated
- The PC-1of the schemes for HEC and PMU (FATA) were prepared and submitted for approval in February, 2016.
- Administrative approval of the PC-1 worth Rs. 40.08 million of the Project Management Unit (FATA) was issued in April, 2016 and the allocated amount of Rs. 13.64 million for the financial year 2015-16 was released in the last week of June, 2016.
- Similarly, Administrative approval of the PC-1 worth Rs. 1.592 billion of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was issued on April 5, 2016 and funds to the tune of Rs. 10 and 240 million as first & second installment were released in June 2016.
- The website of the FATA University (http://www.fu.edu.pk) was developed and the university’s activities have been regularly uploading/ displaying on daily basis to keep the stake holders informed of all sort of developments regarding the FATA University
- For the selection of a consultant for the preparation of University’s Master Plan and Detailed Designing, bids on basis of single envelope two stage system were invited as per PPRA rules and after the fulfillment of formalities and presentation the committee finally selected M/S Structural Engineering Solution Peshawar for the purpose. Acceptance Letter of the contract was awarded to the firm in August 2016.
- Various Committees and Selection Board were constituted with the approval of the Chancellor for hiring the faculty and staff purely on merit.
- The faculty and staff positions under both the projects i.e. PMU and HEC were advertised in the print & electronic media and the best staff on merit has been appointed on the recommendations of the Selection committees/Board.
- The draft Master plan, after designing was presented in the HEC Technical Review Committee meeting held in February, 2017 for review, wherein, the plan was reviewed time and again. The suggestions/recommendations of the committee members for improvement and modifications in the design were accordingly incorporated.
- At the end of August, 2016 the appointments process was completed on all the advertised positions.
- The admissions in the BS-4 year program in the disciplines of Management Sciences, Mathematics, Sociology and Political Science were advertised in September 2016 and 76 students were admitted October 19, 2016.
- The Academic activities were started in the 3rd week of October, 2016 in a portion of Government Degree College, Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat with few offices and class rooms proposed for the establishment of the Vice Chancellor’s Secretariat and the Academic activities. after the completion of renovation work
- A subsidized Fee structure as compared to the other public sector universities was offered. Moreover, for the FATA students a fee structure of further discount @ 50 % in the tuition fee has also been granted with the approval of the Chancellor.
- An additional piece of land measuring 202 kanal contiguous to the already acquired piece of land (measuring 266 kanal) has also been acquired through a Non-ADP scheme. The cost of the land has already been placed at the disposal of DC Kohat in June, 2017 for further disbursement to the land owners.
- Twenty overseas scholarships for higher studies (Ph. D) in various disciplines were advertised through press. The NTS type test was conducted by the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad. Six candidates have been selected in various disciplines. They are in the process of fulfilling the formalities for proceeding abroad for Ph.D studies under the said scholarship scheme.
- The Opening Ceremony of the First Ever Academic Session of the FATA University was held on December 05, 2016 where the Honorable Governor Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, was the Chief Guest and the Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions, Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, was the Guest of Honor on the occasion.
- The first ever Fall Semester was completed at the end of February, 2017 and the Spring Semester was completed in June 2017.
- To overcome the non-availability of electrical power, telephone connections and internet facilities in the university, efforts have been made to lay down the fiber optic cable and to have a separate electric feeder for the university. In this regard, the PTCL provided dedicated internet (8 MB) and telephone facility through fiber optics at a cost of about 2.0 million and a separate electric feeder has been approved by TESCO at a cost of about 16.0 million for university. The payment has already been made by the university in December 2016. The installation of electric poles and electric HT wires has already been completed. By availing these facilities the university will have non-interruptive power supply, telephone and internet accessibility.
- Advertisement for the procurement of computers & its allied accessories, Plant & Machinery, Digital Surveillance Vigilance system, PBX exchange, Security equipment, furniture & fixture and vehicles has been made and the procurement process has been completed.
- A Library hosting more than 1500 books have been established which also has the computers and internet facility being used by students and faculty.
- A full fledge Computer lab with all the facilities has been established in the Computer Science Department.
- The final plan was submitted to the HEC in June 2017 for third time review and the approval of the Master plan and detailed designing was granted in July 2017.
- A contractor Firm M/S Akhunzada Jamil Afzal & Co has been awarded the contract for the construction of the Boundary Wall, Security watch Towers and the Main Gate including the security office as per prevailing PPRA rules. The construction work has already been started in November 2017 and is in progress.
- The advertisement for hiring of need base faculty and staff was floated in the daily newspapers in April 2017. The process of appointment of the faculty and administrative and allied staff has been completed through Selection Board / Selection Committees purely on merit till September 2017.
- Three additional disciplines i.e., Computer Science, Geology and English have been introduced in fall semester of 2017-2018.
- The admissions in seven disciplines (including the newly introduced three subjects) for Fall Semester session 2017-18 were advertised and 255 students got admission by September 2017 the regular classes in the Fall Semester of the second Academic Session have been started from the first week of October 2017..
- Two buses (32 seaters and 52 seaters) have been purchased for providing the transport facility to the faculty, staff and students.
- A building on ring road has been hired on rent for the students on their persistent demand and the pick and drop service is also being provided to the hostel students.
- A firm M/S Shah & Co has been awarded contract for the reclamation, leveling & dressing and filling of the already acquired piece of land following the PPRA rules. The work order to the said firm was issued in November 2017 and the work is in progress.
- Various types of students’ societies have been constituted for arranging workshops / seminars, sports meets and other extra-curricular activities in the FATA University. These societies have arranged several workshops and seminars on various topics besides Book fairs for promoting the culture of learning.
- The statutory bodies such as Finance and Planning Committee (F&PC), and Syndicate have been constituted while the constitution and approval of Senate is in progress.
- The bids were invited for the construction of tube wells and overhead water tank of 50 thousand gallon through press in December 2017. The technical proposals have been opened and the prequalification of the contractor firms is in progress.
- Similarly, the expression of interest for the main infrastructure development in various packages has also been invited in December 2017 for the prequalification of the construction firms. The technical proposals were opened and the prequalification of the firms is in progress
The infrastructure of the FATA University and the Administrative and Academic requirements in more than six faculties as per FATA University Regulations 2013 will be completed in a phased manner. In the first phase a limited infrastructure and Academic program will be completed within 5 years with the estimated cost of Rs. 1.592 billion under the present developmental scheme. However, the completion of Academic Programs under the FATA University Regulations 2013, will take place under different phases in future with the estimated cost of more than 4.7 billion.
Under the approved PC-1 Scheme, the following activities will be accomplished during the next 5 years:
- Establishment of Academic, Administrative, Residential and Common facilities at a covered area of more than 250,000 square feet.
- 20 foreign Ph.D. scholarships will be given to newly appointed faculty for completing their higher studies from the technologically advanced countries.
- Purchase of laboratory equipments, chemicals, consumables, furniture & fixture etc. for Computer Science & IT, Earth Sciences, Electronics and Chemistry laboratories.
- Hiring of faculty and staff for smooth running of the university affairs.
- Purchase of the vehicles.
- Affiliation of all the colleges of FATA
- Establishment of Sub-Campuses in various agencies of FATA