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GCU awards honorary degree to PM Nawaz

18 January, 2014

LAHORE: The Government College University (GCU) Lahore on Friday awarded an honorary doctorate degree to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif for his invaluable services for Pakistan, democracy and his alma mater.

Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar, Education Minister Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman presented the honorary PhD degree to the prime minister at the university's 12th Convocation wherein 1,215 students also received degrees, medals, rolls of honour and other distinctions.

According the convocation report, girls yet again outshined boys this year in academics as they clinched top positions and medals in 15 of 26 disciplines at BA/BSc (Hons) level while boys emerged on top in co-curricular activities and sports.

About 19 scholars namely; Sana Zahoor, Muhammad Ajaib, Shahzad Sharif, Tauheeda Riaz, Haniya Azam, Samia Ashraf, Zaheer Ahmed, Sadia Arshad, Zia Bashir, Aftab Khan, Ammara Nosheen, Gul Rahmat and Awais Younus, Farah Deeba and Zeba Israr, Muhammad Hamid Ali, Sarah Khalid Butt, Hina Kanwal and Mian Humayun also received doctorate of philosophy (PhD) degrees at the convocation.

Addressing the convocation, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reminisced of his old days at the college, saying that "today, when I was coming to attend the convocation at GCU, a caravan of memories accompanied me throughout the way."

The prime minister said he used to sit in the oval ground of the college and also played a lot of cricket there. "I was a prominent member of the GC cricket team," he said.

The PM said he could not forget the days when he along with his friends used to sit on the benches of the ground and it was time when the friends' company was more attractive than the classroom. The prime minister wished he could become a GCU student again to spend time with friends. He also recalled a visit of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore when film star Dev Anand, who was also a Ravian, expressed his great wish to see Government College, Lahore again.

Nawaz said he could not forget the college canteen, friends and honourable teachers. He said that he would prefer refreshment at the college canteen.

In his convocation address, Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar congratulated the new graduates and asked them to serve the nation and pay back what you had earned from your alma mater. He said that the country would make progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that getting the GSP Plus status was just because of the PM's efforts.

The governor lauded the performance of Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleeq-ur-Rahman and said that under his supervision the university was growing rapidly. He said there were 7 million children in Pakistan who could not get admission in a school due to poverty. He urged the newly graduates to utilise their degrees and work for the underprivileged children and women.

While addressing the gathering, the VC said Pakistan was facing the challenges like terrorism, intolerance, poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructure, lawlessness, diseases, and other maladies just because of lack of quality education. He said, "Unfortunately, Muslim countries are categorised as low-income developing countries. This is because the Muslim countries spend only 0.46% of their GDP on education." He congratulated the prime minister who has rightfully increased the budgetary allocation for education up to 4% of the GDP.

Prof Rahman said that despite financial constraints, GCU reduced the fees of students by 35%, adding that there had been no raise in their fees for the last three years. Besides fee reduction, a substantive amount of Rs22 million has been disbursed by way of scholarships through the university budget as well as GCU Endowment Fund, he added.

End.

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