By Raja G Mujtaba
27th May was a landmark in the brief history of University of Gujrat (UOG). The venue was gracefully setup, guests were seated to the capacity, graduating students showed pride in being the first graduates from a university that is still in its infancy but stood taller than the most in every sense of the word.
What impressed me was the aura, the confidence both in the students and the faculty. If the banner was not displaying marking the 1st Convocation, one would have thought as if this was at least 50 years old if not more.
The graduating students, mostly girls were carrying a pride in themselves, for they were the first crop of UOG, they had built certain foundations both in the academic and non academic fields, they left a legacy, achievements and developing some traditions that would be carried forward by the coming generations. In doing so, the role of the faculty lead by Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, the Vice Chancellor played a pivotal role. All those who stood first have established bench marks that will have to be bettered by the coming students.
In his welcome speech, the Vice Chancellor showed the depth of the curriculum and extra curriculum activities. The
number of research papers published, seminars held, and some other similar activities reflected on the future aspirations of this great institution to be.
Dr Nizamuddin was bold and courteous in acknowledging the contributions of the previous governments and I must say Prime Minister was equally sagacious in applauding their contributions.
Some of the salient points are mentioned below. These are strong indicators of the strength of the UOG.
- Undergraduate 24
- Master 14
- M Phil 13
- Total Strength 342
- PhD 29
- Campus Enrollment 5560
- Intermediate Students 6000
- Research Papers Published 97
Seeing the university academic programs, one is impressed that in a short span of four years of its commissioning, the UOG stands at par with any other university of the country. Publication of 97 research papers in foreign and Pakistani journals, again in a span of 4 years is commendable. If this tempo is maintained, one can strongly hope that in the not to distant future, UOG would be competing with International Universities.
One of the most impressive facts of this University is the composition of its student population. It is a matter of great pride for UOG that 76 % of the students are girls and they come not only from Gujrat, but also from neighboring areas of Gujranwala, Sialkot, Wazirabad, Mandi Bahauddin, Kharian and Jhelum. This would not have been possible if the daily pick and drop facility would not have been provided to the students. This is a living spirit of The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who had given a very deep rooted importance to education. He mentioned, “Go to China to acquire education, if you have to.” Here when one sees the distant cities from where the students are picked and dropped on daily basis, one can sure say that underlying principle is the saying of the Holy Prophet (SAW). It’s a responsibility that must be acknowledged and applauded.
When I visited the UOG prior to convocation, I saw the girl students who looked bright and full of confidence as they should have been. In a rural culture of Pakistan, university education for the girls was not even a dream but seeing it happening is satisfaction of the utmost feeling.
Prime Minister, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani who was the chief guest, announced Rs 100 million for the UOG both for an auditorium and enhancement of further higher education. Seeing the value of money, it’s not a big amount but it’s some contribution to the cause of education. It is hoped that both federal and provincial governments and philinthrophs shall keep contributing to this great institution in the making.
What Tarik Jan, mentioned in his article “Street Smart,” Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, proved true to his reputation. He did prove that when he talks, he has foot in his mouth. While he was speaking, Nawabzada Ghazanfar Gul, donated 125 acres of land for the establishment of College of Vetnary Sciences. A chunk of land that’s sizeable from any standards and that too in the proximity of city of Gujrat. It’s a premium land but this family has been donating for such causes in the past also. Zamindar College of Gujrat is a standing confirmation of their contributions. The Prime Minister ridiculed this donation by saying that Nawabzada Gul has kicked the grave of Hatim Tai by donating this land. Hatim Tai is a legendry person from times immemorial known for his generosity; thus he is a reference mark whenever someone does a noble work or shows generosity in helping others.
The UOG is equipped with the state of the art facilities to groom the students. It has on the campus a TV Station, FM Radio Station, and University Press along with the facilities for Video Conferencing and high speed wireless internet facility open to students round the clock free of charge. Along with this, the UOG has also constantly expanding its library facility to meet the student needs and establish well reputed research facilities.
University organizes co-curricular activities periodically like, seminars, conferences, special lectures on emerging academic / social issues
University is planning to commence various academic / research programs in most emerging disciplines.
It is also being emphasised that the UOG must offer 20 seats to ECO students that would provide it with the International standing but also help foster better and brotherly relations with these Muslim countries. Looking into our history, the population composition forms a great number who had come from Central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan etc. This would be a step in the right direction when we offer them the seats.
This was also discussed with Sardar Asif Ahmed, the Federal Education Minister. Inspite of the financial constraints, he showed his willingness to support the program.
It must also teach Qur’an as a subject, this would include the study of Arabic language and jurisprudence etc. A batch of
students graduating in this discipline from modern university like UOG would greatly help to transform the society at large.
One must not forget Dr Allama Iqbal, the visionary force behind Pakistan Movement. He deserves a chair where his philosophy must be taught in depth, graduating students must be offered Ph. D facilities in these disciplines.
It is a strong belief that UOG will rise beyond expectations. Its management and faculty is committed to the cause.