Bahawalpur (Staff Report): Engr. Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman, Governor Punjab and Chancellor has said that universities play a key role in promoting a knowledge-based economy. Human resource development and advanced research are indispensable for national development. Governor Punjab expressed these views while addressing in the 19th Convocation of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

In this occasion, degrees were conferred to 1024 graduates, including 28 PhD, 66 MPhil, 79 gold and 68 silver medals. During his visit to the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, the Governor of Punjab distributed more than 6.13 million rupees scholarships to 48 students belonging to Balochistan under the Balochistan Education Endowment Fund.

He inaugurated the Centre for Sustainable Development Goals at the university and inaugurated the annual degree show of the College of Art and Design. Governor Punjab said that our educational institutions should produce graduates who have high academic skills as well as excellent personal qualities. In the last few years, Islamia University Bahawalpur has shown extraordinary progress in every department. The establishment of inter-university consortium, inter-cropping technology of maize and soybean crops, establishment of National Cotton Breeding Institute, initiation of pilot project in Cholistan on rain enhancement project with international cooperation to develop agroeconomic zone , establishment of first-of-its-kind nursing college in any university are exemplary steps . Governor Punjab appreciated the organizing of the Bahawalpur Literary and Cultural Festival at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur and Bahawalpur Trade Fair to promote tourism. He said that the establishment of the Centre for Performing Arts and Digital Media Production is commendable.

In his address on this occasion, Vice Chancellor Engr. Prof. Dr. Athar Mahboob said that the Islamia University of Bahawalpur has been included in the top 800 universities of the world in the ranking of times higher education. The Islamia University of Bahawalpur is implementing teaching, administrative, and financial reforms to join the top 100 world universities. Under these reforms, the number of faculties has been increased from 7 to 15, and the number of departments has been increased from 48 to 142. Around 2,000 full-time and part-time teachers are providing educational services to more than 65,000 students across seven campuses. More than 100 student societies have been established at university faculty and department level for the character building of students. Along with the activation of Khawaja Farid Chair and Sir Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi Fifth Chair, Institute for Saraiki Language and Literature has also been established. Along with the addition of more than 40 buses to the university transport, the scope of this facility has been extended to the neighboring towns. As many as 28 selection boards and 63 selection committees were organized for the increase of competent and hardworking manpower in teaching and non-teaching fields, as a result of which 3500 people were appointed. The development budget of the university increased from 3 billion to 12 billion, and the non-development budget increased from 3 billion to 8 billion.

Meanwhile, Governor Punjab Engr. Baligh ur Rahman attended the condolence reference of late journalist Islam Zamir at Abbasia Campus and paid tribute to his journalistic services.

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