SPECIAL REPORT IBD: As the government takes a major policy shift to promote technical and vocational education in the country, setting up of Pakistan Technology Council (PTC) is under active consideration of the government to resolve the issue of educational equivalence of various technical education programmes with the formal education qualification.
An official source told Technology Times that the Ministry of Science and Technology has sought suggestions from the private sector to ascertain the demand of setting up an autonomous body, PTC, to regulate the technical and vocational education. He said that the promotion of technical and vocational education was supported by the donors community, which also wants their wide acceptability to provide job opportunities to the large number of qualified youth.
The need for PTC was felt as the highest technical education qualification of B-Tech is still not accepted as a formal degree equivalent to the B. Sc Engineering by the Pakistan Engineering Council.
Chairman Pakistan Council of Technologists (PCT), Prof. Javed Iqbal told this scribe that Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar in a recent meeting had agreed to establish a separate body to resolve the longstanding issues of B-Tech graduates.
He said that the ministry always invited comments from public departments where engineers were heading the departments, however, they never gave comments in the favour of B-Tech graduates due to their biased approach. Therefore, the proposal was floated to invite the comments from the private sector.
B-Tech graduates are deprived of access to higher studies, job opportunities and promotions in the public departments as their degree of B-Tech (Hons) is not accepted equivalent to BSc/BE from the last 40 years.
“The technologists holding B-Tech qualification have filed several cases in courts and got 17 decisions in their favour, declaring their degree equivalent to B.Sc/BE but no decision is implemented so far. The HEC and FPSC also recognize the B-Techs at par with the BSc engineers,” he explained.
It is to be mentioned that in Punjab, only B.Tech degree is being offered at the Govt. College of Technologies under TEVTA and other private sector universities. These GCTs are affiliated with related UETs that are focusing only on the Engineering Degrees on the directives of PEC.
Engr Waseem Raja , Chairman, Pakistan Society of B.Tech Engineers (PSBTE), told this scribe, “In a recently held meeting, we had explained to the Ministry of Science and Technology that a recently held survey of several technical departments, more than 65 per cent Intermediate and DAE students are getting admission in Engineering Technology (B.Tech/BSc Tech) rather than Engineering Sciences (BE/BSc Engg). So it establishes the fact that PTC establishment is desperately needed in order to protect the future of over 500,000 graduates.”
There is a basic difference between Engineering Sciences and Engineering Technology as the Engineering Sciences are related to designed and analytical field of engineering while Engineering Technology is a field of planning, control and applied engineering.
Experts are of the opinion that in Pakistan, where about 90 per cent of the machines are imported, operated and maintained, B-Tech graduates have more practical experience of handling the equipment that the B.Sc engineers, having skills only of designing machines, have very little scope in the country.
They supported the idea of setting up PTC as it would more successfully handle the qualification issues of technical and vocational education.