A total of 206 PhD, 345 MPhil, 339 master’s and 180 bachelor’s degrees were awarded at the university’s 121st convocation, while 155 students were awarded 211 medals for outstanding academic achievement. The proceedings were held in Urdu, for the first time in decades.
Addressing the students at the ceremony at Faisal Auditorium, Prof Kamran said that no other university in Pakistan had produced more than 150 PhDs in a year. The Punjab University was performing better than most in this regard and the lead would widen in the coming years, he said.
The vice chancellor stressed that Islam encouraged Muslims to seek knowledge. Around 750 verses of the Holy Quran, about an eighth of it, spoke about the observation of natural phenomena and solving the mysteries of the universe, he said. By comparison, there were around 225 legislative verses. This illustrated the importance of knowledge in Islam.
He said that while other countries spent an average of 4-5 per cent of GDP on education, Pakistan had reduced educational spending from 2 per cent to around 1.5 per cent of GDP, despite its growing and youthful population. “Knowledge seems to have no value in Pakistan because our rulers do not realise its importance for our respectable survival in the world,” he added.
“We are an independent country only because of our atom bomb,” he said. The government must eliminate corruption and waste and allocate more money to education. But, he said, one should not expect much from governments. He advised the graduates to spread knowledge on their own.
PU Registrar Prof Khan Raas Masood, Examinations Controller Prof Liaqat Ali, Convocation Committee Chairman Prof Haris Rashid and Faculty of Oriental Learning Dean Dr Mazhar Moeen also attended the ceremony.