By Rehan Piracha
Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, Vice Chancellor of the GCU, made the announcement in a tweet that he shared with Voicepk in response to a question about the inclusion of the caste column.
No other prominent colleges of Lahore including MAO College, Queen’s Mary College, Government College Civil Lines, and Lahore College for Women University, have chosen to identify the caste of the applicants on their admissions forms.
But GCU’s vice chancellor says otherwise.
Caste column has been included in admission forms for many yrs; it existed long before my arrival @gcuniversitylhr It has always been optional, not mandatory to fill. However, I've now directed GCU’s Registrar to immediately remove this column from admissions form. pic.twitter.com/xF3l1Hv0l8
— Asghar Zaidi (@zaidia) September 20, 2022
The university administration said instructions have been given to the IT personnel to remove the caste column.
Teachers, parents and civil society representatives criticised the GCU over its inclusion of a caste column. The student applicants launched an online protest against it saying that Pakistani society was already divided into castes, adding that the inclusion of the caste column would only aggravate the situation.
Dr Atif Butt, assistant professor in the Urdu department of MAO College, said the admissions form for students normally has columns of religion and nationality.
“The purpose of the religion column is to assign the subject of Ethics to non-Muslim students while Muslim students are taught Islamiyat,” he told Voicepk.
At the same time, the spokesperson of the Lahore College for Women University confirmed that the university did not have any caste column on its admissions form.