LAHORE: The 122nd convocation of the Punjab University took place on Saturday, in which degrees were conferred upon 1,256 students of different programmes.
The degrees were awarded to 180 students of PhD programmes, 390 of M Phil/MS programmes, 343 of master’s programmes and 181 students of undergraduate programmes, while 162 medals were also awarded to students.
As many as 75 medals were awarded to undergraduate students, while 87 were awarded to master’s students.
Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, Examinations Controller Prof Dr Liaqat Ali, Registrar Prof Dr Khan Rass Masood, Faculty of Science Dean Prof Dr Khawaja Haris Rashid, heads of various departments and a large number of students and their parents were present on the occasion.
A PhD degree was also awarded to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Jahangir Badr in the subject of Pakistan studies.
He has now become South Asia’s first serving parliamentarian who has done his PhD while remaining a lawmaker. The topic of his thesis was “Political Leadership in Pakistan: A Case Study of Benazir Bhutto”.
Meanwhile, a blind student, Ayesha Khalid, proved that no disability could be a hurdle in the way of progress, and that if special persons were given a chance, they would show with undefeated efforts their skills equal to those of normal people.
Ayesha Khalid got first position in the BA Examination, 2012, among the disabled students as a private candidate. She was awarded with the Dr Muhammad Arif Gold Medal.
Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Dr Mujahid Kamran requested the government to allocate maximum resource to education, especially research and development.
He said that the average educational spending of nations was around five per cent of the GDP, while Pakistan was spending two per cent or less than that on education.
He said that the US’s total GDP was $14 trillion, while it was spending $980 billion on education alone, besides spending a huge amount on research and development.
He said that Pakistan’s GDP stood at around $250 billion, while it was spending less than $5 billion on education and only 0.1 to 0.2 per cent on research and development.
Dr Kamran said that around 750 verses of the Holy Quran stressed observation of natural phenomena and to resolve mysteries of the world, while the verses related to legislation were around 250, which reflected the importance of knowledge in the Quran.
He said that the world had become a battlefield, and “we must prepare ourselves for it and use all resources for our defence, like other nations”.
He said that a “silent genocide” of Muslims was underway in the world.
He said that an Australian Jewish scientist and researcher, Gideon Polya, had revealed in his book Body Count that there had been 1.3 billion avoidable deaths during the period between 1950 and 2005, of which 600 million were Muslims.
He said that the US, Israel and India were open enemies of Islam and Pakistan, and were making all-out efforts to weaken the country.
He said that the Muslims were facing all the problems only because of their distance from the creation of “new knowledge” (research and development).
He also said that no nation obtain knowledge if its members had weak character and dishonesty in the everyday affairs.
He said that Pakistan’s only collective achievement was the creation of an atomic bomb, which had been possible only because of continuation of policies and efforts of our politicians, army and bureaucracy, and extraordinary efforts of Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan.
“Despite the fact that we had few people, we were making the best missiles, which proved that we can achieve any destination if we are determined and focused,” he said.
He said that there was a need to polish the talent and creative skills of our people.
In the end, he congratulated the students on their achievements and advised them to serve the country as well as mankind.
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