PU misses its chancellor on convocation


LAHORE – The 119th convocation of the Punjab University (PU) turned out to be a lacklustre event, as neither the chief minister nor the governor/chancellor showed up at the ceremony despite having received invitations.
For degree holders it is one of the most important occasions of their lives; getting medals from a high-profile figure, but it is the failure of the PU administration that they could not convince the CM or the governor to grace the convocation.
PU sources said administration tried their best to bring the governor and CM to the convocation but, without any luck, the convocation was dull despite the presence of Col (r) Ikram Ullah, and various other PU officials could not add much colour to the event.
However, sources disclosed that owing to the presence of a ‘retired army man’ at PU’s top administrative office, political personalities avoided to visit such functions. He said this army man was allegedly involved in leaking the secrecy of political personalities who visited PU. He said the same man issued releases against President Asif Ali Zardari from PU’s platform, in the past, and was the reason why political personalities were being apprehensive.
He said that the varsity teachers were disheartened that no political personality was the chief guest at convocation. Some PU teachers termed it the failure of the administration why CM and governor, who were ever-ready to join students at such events, did not attend the convocation. They said that owing to the current PU environment; where a movement against the PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was taking place inside the rooms of the varsity’s deans and pro JI teachers, political personalities avoided visiting PU.
According to another senior PU faculty member, a group inside PU teachers was trying to get attention of the CM and governor to highlight corruption charges against PU teachers. Hence, the PU administration found it convenient to keep them at arms length from the university to avoid any embarrassment. A PU official said that governor was in Dubai so he could not come at the convocation while they avoided inviting any other personality, as it was a trend all over the world that chancellors awarded degrees among students.
As many as 790 male and female MPhil/PhD scholars, masters and undergraduates besides 203 gold/silver medalists and former Jamat-e-Islami Ameer Qazi Hussain Ahmad were also present. PU VC was the chief gust and distributed degrees and gold medals. He said against the production of 734 PhDs during 1990-2007, PU has completed an enviable hat-trick of over 100 PhDs every year, during 2008 to 2010 by producing 105, 126 and 108 PhDs respectively.
He said research allocation has been raised by this administration from Rs 5 million in 2008 to Rs 70 million in the current fiscal year. Similarly the research output in the impact factor and HEC recognized journals, publication of books by faculty members, representation of PU in international conferences abroad and our successes in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities has registered a significant increase during this period.
He said, “Our students have won 146 individual prizes and 32 team trophies in 2009 while 16 trophies and 81 individual prizes were grabbed during 2010.” Later, the VC awarded degrees to 790 students and gold and silver medals to 203 students who had shown extra-ordinary performance in their examinations.