NA body wants regulatory body for testing services

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ISLAMABAD: After raising concerns over recent National Testing Service (NTS) paper leaks, a parliamentary committee on Tuesday directed the Establishment Division to work out a proposal for setting up an authority to regulate private testing bodies.

MNA Sahibzada Sibghatullah from Upper Dir during a session of the National Assembly had pointed out alleged malpractices and leakage of papers during tests conducted by the NTS for recruitment of teachers in some districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The matter was later referred to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat.

At a meeting of the committee with Syed Aminul Haq in the chair on Tuesday, the MNA said the test in his constituency was canceled twice because of question paper leaks.

He said because of the abrupt cancellation of the test, the candidates had to face a lot of difficulties.

Officials from the NTS told the committee that an FIR had been registered against unknown people who leaked the papers while an inquiry was underway to identify those involved in the scam.

Committee chairman Syed Aminul Haq said mere registration of an FIR that too against unknown people was not a solution. An investigation should be conducted to expose those involved the scam.

The committee gave 45 days to Comsats and the NTS to complete the probe and share its findings with the committee. NTS was initially launched as a project by Comsats.

NTS also faced allegations of paper leaks in Thatta, Sindh, in 2017. The same year, then state minister for science and technology Mir Dostain Khan Domki tendered his resignation, saying when he had launched a probe into corruption scandals in the ministry, including the NTS, all of a sudden a federal minister was given the charge of the ministry. Minister for State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan told the committee that cancellation or declaring a paper null and void caused problems to students who deposited fee to appear in such tests.

The minister supported the idea of a body which could keep a check on all private testing bodies.

The committee recommended to the Establishment Division to work out a proposal in this regard.

After committee meeting, MNA Sibghatullah told Dawn that in his constituency the NTS paper for recruitment in the education department was cancelled twice because of paper leaks.

He said later MNA from Chitral Maulana Abdul Akbar and MNA from Buner Sher Akbar Khan also pointed out paper leaks in their constituencies.

Earlier, the committee took up a question moved by Abdul Qadir Patel regarding non-compliance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by Karachi Nuclear Power Plant. The committee directed the organisation for provision of details about initiatives taken under CSR for people of the area.

The committee members had a consensus that all industrial establishments in the public sector should fulfil their obligations regarding betterment of people living in their areas.

Discussing the progress on infrastructure development projects in Karachi under the execution/management of Sindh Infrastructure Development Company, the committee directed for early completion of the ongoing projects.

The committee also directed that the process for provision of fire tenders and snorkels to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation should be expedited.

The lawmakers were of the view that completion of the Green Line Mass Transit System would facilitate people of Karachi besides easing traffic load on roads.

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