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PU honours ‘book lovers’ on eve of World Book and Copyright Day

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LAHORE: Students and faculty of the Punjab University (PU) on Tuesday staged a walk from the Institute of Education and Research (IER) to Al Raazi Hall on the eve of World Book and Copyright Day today. A seminar organised by the PU Department of Library and Information Sciences (DLIS) and the PU Library was also held at Al Raazi Hall to mark the day.DLIS Chairperson Prof Dr Kanwal Amin, Chief Librarian Chaudhry Muhammad Hanif, Prof Emeritus Dr Khawaja Muhammad Zakria, Farrukh Sohail Goindi, Prof Hasan Shahnawaz Zaidi, publishers, faculty and a large number of students attended the seminary. Later, ‘book lovers’ were honoured by distributing awards among top 10 users of the PU Library. Addressing the seminar, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said that darkness of ignorance could not be removed from society without promotion of knowledge. He said that there were around 1.5 billion Muslims in the world but that they had no contribution to creation of new knowledge. Dr Kamran said that the only option for Pakistan was to promote education in order to progress. He said the average educational spending of nations remained around 5 percent of their GDPs while Pakistan was spending 2 percent or less than 2 percent of its GDP on education. He said that the GDP of the United States was $14 trillion while it was spending $980 billion on education besides spending a huge amount on research and development. He said that Pakistan’s GDP stood around $250 billion while we were spending less than $5 billion on education.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kanwal Amin said that it would be wrong to say that the people were not taking interest in books because of Internet and other tools of electronic media. She said that we could see publication of a large number of books in the most developed and advanced countries.Chief Librarian Hanif said that the PU administration was taking steps to promote book-reading culture by organising book fairs and other ancillary activities. Farrukh Sohail Goindi said that society could not be changed through sloganeering but that it could only be transformed through promotion of literacy. Dr Zakria said that students were taking interest in guess papers and guides instead of textbooks. He said that the real thing was to understand what was written in the book and not to merely “read” the book. Prof Shahnawaz Zaidi said that students did not take interest in co-curricular and literary books. He also read out an essay of Patras Bokhari on the occasion.Later, Dr Kamran distributed ‘Book Lover Awards’ among top 10 PU Library users. Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology students Mahak Fayyaz, Madiha Habib and Syeda Umme Habiba clinched top three awards. Chief Librarian Hanif said that because of the ‘Book Lover Awards’ and other initiatives taken by the administration, membership of the PU Library had increased manifold.

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