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 April-2017)
- Piece of land measuring 266 kanal has already been purchased in Akhurwal, Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat
- Purchase of additional contiguous piece of land measuring 202 kanal is under process. The land has been demarcated and the owners have shown written willingness to sell their land. Accordingly the FDWP of the FATA Secretariat approved the non-ADP scheme amounting to Rs.141.4 million but the release of funds are still awaited.
- Soon after the appointment in January 2016, the Vice Chancellor started his activities in his camp office established in the National Centre of Excellence in Geology (NCEG), University of Peshawar where he was the Director before taking over the new assignment. The faculty and staff of the NCEG extended full support in the routine matters to the VC and also the facilities of the NCEG were used in the initial stages which are highly appreciated.
- After the completion of renovation work in a portion of Government Degree College, Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat, proposed for the establishment of the Vice Chancellor’s Secretariat and the Academic block, the academic activities were started in October 2016.
- The website of the FATA University (http://www.fu.edu.pk) was developed and the university’s news have been publishing/ displaying on daily basis to keep the people informed of all sort of developments in the FATA University.
- The PC-1 Schemes for HEC and PMU (FATA) were prepared and submitted for approval by the Vice Chancellor in February, 2016.
- Administrative approval of the PC-1 worth Rs. 40.08 million of the Project management Unit (FATA) was given on April 1, 2016 and the allocated amount of Rs. 13.64 million for the financial year 2015-16 was released on June 23, 2016.
- Administrative approval of the PC-1 worth Rs. 1.592 billion of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was issued on 5th April, 2016 and funds to the tune of Rs. 10.000 million as first installment & Rs.240.000 million as second installment were released in June 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 PMU and HEC PC-1s were advertised in the daily newspapers and the best staff on merit, in a transparent manner has been appointed on the recommendations of the committees.
- At the end of August, 2016 the appointments process was completed on all the advertised positions.
- The admissions in the BS-4 years program in the disciplines of Management Sciences, Mathematics, Sociology and Political Science were advertised in September 2016. The admission of 76 students was completed by October 19, 2016 and the regular classes of the First Ever Academic Session were started on October 24, 2016.
- Twenty overseas scholarships for higher studies (Ph. D) in various disciplines were advertised through daily newspapers. The NTS type test was conducted by the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad and the process of final selection of the candidates is in progress
- For the selection of a consultant for the preparation of University’s Master Plan and Detailed Designing, bids on single envelope two stage system were invited as per PEPRA rules and seven firms out of fifteen were pre-qualified on the basis of their technical proposals. The firms were invited for presentation of its firm and the projects completed and in hand and the committee finally selected M/S Structural Engineering Solution Peshawar for the purpose. Acceptance Letter was awarded accordingly to the firm in August 2016.
- The Master plan, after designing was presented in the HEC Technical Review Committee meeting held in February, 2017 for review, whereas, the plan was reviewed for the 2nd time by the committee in its meeting held on May 9, 2017. The suggestions/recommendations of the committee members for improvement and modifications in the design, which are being incorporated. The final draft plan will be submitted to the HEC shortly.
- 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 has been completed at the end of February, 2017 and the Spring Semester is in progress which will be completed in mid of 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. However, the installation of electric feeder is still awaited. 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 Vigilance system , PBX exchange, Security equipment, furniture & fixture and vehicles has been made and the procurement process is in progress.
- The work on establishment of Library and the Computer/IT laboratory is in progress.
- The Tender Documents for the construction of the Boundary Wall, Security watch Towers and the Main Gate including the security office and reception has been prepared and the tenders have already been invited through press.
- The advertisement for hiring of need base faculty and staff was floated in the daily newspapers in April 2017. In response, a large number of applications have been received for various advertised positions and presently the scrutiny process is in progress.
- Various types of students’ societies have been constituted and these societies are involved in arranging workshops / seminars and other extra-curricular activities in the FATA University. These societies have already arranged several workshops and seminars on various topics and Book fairs for enhancing the intellectual capabilities of the students.
- The constitution and approval of statutory bodies such as Syndicate and Senate are in progress.