Punjab Governor Ch. Muhammad Sarwar addresses the 21st Convocation of the UAF
Punjab Governor Ch. Muhammad Sarwar on Monday stressed upon the youth to become hardworking and capitalize the available time to hone their skills, resulting in their bright future and progress of the country. He addressed the 21st Convocation of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad at the Iqbal Auditorium. Terming the youth, an engine for bright future, he advised them getting education with dedication and come up with the innovative ideas for the uplift of the country. He said that the country was facing difficult time in term of energy crisis, water scarcity, low agricultural productivity issue, and poverty. He said that the Nature had gifted us with the tremendous resources. Now it is our duty to explore and get benefit from them. It is really heart burning that half of the population was living below the poverty line. The agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in the poverty alleviation, he said adding, that the UAF scientists should expedite its efforts to cope with the challenges of food security.
He congratulated the UAF for becoming the first-ever Pakistani University ranked among the top 100 universities of the globe. He also praised the UAF for its internationalization, and introducing 32 new degree programme. He said that the government was taking revolutionary steps for the uplift of the agricultural sector. He said that white revolution is being focused to improve the quality and quantity of milk. At the current scenario, bio energy is gaining the immense importance. He said that services of Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, former Chairman Wapda Shamas ul Mulk and Indian Dr MS Swaminathan are marvelous. At the event, honourary degrees were conferred on Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz; former Chairman Wapda Engineer Shams-ul-Mulk, and Father of Indian Green Revolution Dr MS Swaminathan.
At the event, 2997 students of 2013 were conferred the degrees and medals. As many as 1297 students of graduations, 1390 of post graduations, 209 MPhil, 19 MS computer sciences, and 82 PhDs were awarded the degrees. 39 students were given medals. Dr Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has lot of potential in the agricultural sector. He called for doubling the agricultural production in the next fifteen years in order to feed ever increasing population. He congratulated the UAF for rendering the marvelous contributions to the academia and research. He said that research can move the country to the new heights of progress and prosperity. He said that food security and global warning are the areas of the concerns for the country.
Dr Shamas-ul-Mulk lauded the efforts of the UAF for the field of agriculture. He said that if you educate a man, you educate a person. But if you educate a woman, you educate a family. Dr MS Swaminathan said that being the first agricultural institutions in subcontinent, the UAF has played pivotal role in the hunger alleviation. He said that UAF Vision 2030 will prove hallmark in the ever-green revolution of the region.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that in the last four years, the UAF has initiated the 32 new demand-driven programmes. A Confucius centre was being set up at the campus with the help of China in which Chinese Cultural and Language Programmes will be offered. He was of the view that UAF has kicked off first of its kind joint degree BBA (Agri Business) Programme in collaboration with IBA Sukker. He said it has established the Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security worth 30 million US dollar sponsored by USAID. The university houses a satellite unit of a German funded International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) to fight against global hunger and poverty through research and education. The Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP) is also one of the most successful models in cooperation and partnership. ASLP is working for the uplift of dairy, mango, and citrus industries. The Governor also laid the foundation of UAF Main Gate which is being redesigned and reconstructed keeping the historical importance in view.
At the event, the Governor’s birthday was also celebrated. The Governor also distributed cheques among the Laboratory Girls High School toppers. Rabia Faridi, a student of UAF nominated for a speech in the coming UN General Assembly Session, delivered a speech on women empowerment.
Registrar Ch Muhammad Hussain led the academic procession and Controller of Examinations Shafqat Iqbal conducted the proceeding of the Convocation. Australian Deputy High Commissioner Paul Molloy, Ali Tahir Secretary Agriculture Punjab, Arid Agriculture University VC Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and other dignitaries from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan participated.