Lahore is called the ‘City of Colleges’ because of some quality and prestigious educational institutions like Government College, Aitchison College, FC College, King Edward Medical College and National College of Arts. However, all of them had been established in second half of 19th century. But since the creation of Pakistan, hardly any public sector institution is made which can match the quality and reputation of these colleges. FC College an example of the government’s routine neglect since 1972 – the year it was nationalised.

Earlier, it was amongst the best institutions of Pakistan but within three decades of nationalisation, it met abysmal levels of quality and reputation. Notwithstanding Gen. Musharraf had rescued his alma mater from complete destruction when he was President and returned it to the Presbyterian Church, hence paid the debt back as an old student of FC College. Indeed, with the administrative and financial control of the American based church it has not only overcome its various problems particularly financial but also doing well to regain it lost reputation. Though FC College has been working like a private sector institution with high fee structure yet it is unaffordable for common people.

On the other hand, Government College has been a public sector institution but it has been exemplarily maintaining its quality and reputation for last 153 years. Indeed, it is a miracle that with nominal fee structure and very insufficient grant from the provincial government, GCU is enjoying distinction in Pakistan owning the highest merit for Intermediate, BA/BSc (Honors) and MA/MS admissions, maximum number of successful candidates in CSS and PCS exams, most number of the awardees for Fulbright, Chevening, Ugrad and SUSI scholarships.

GCU is a unique example that with all hardships and social decays it has been continuously producing individuals who have excelled nationally and internationally. It has been catering students not only of Punjab but also KPK, Sindh, Balochistan, GB, FATA and AJK. Students from these areas can compete for admission here on open merit, besides they have reserved seats also. The outcome of this merit policy is that now over whelming majority of students is from outside Lahore. Its accommodating and assimilating environment provides an opportunity to the students from different parts of Pakistan to meet and mingle which enhance their understanding. Boys and girls keep coming to this institution with pride from across Pakistan hence becomes a great source of national integration. It is pertinent to mention that in last 15 years the number of students has risen from 4000 to 13000. The GCU is still offering intermediate programme where the top merited 2500 students are studying. It not a university degree, but GCU is still running the intermediate programme as a special service to the Punjab government.

The amazing aspect of GCU Lahore is that for about last 10 years the fee has not been increased. Still average monthly fee of GCU is less than a medium level private school. Indeed, the current administration has taken some appropriate initiatives by filling the vacant posts of deans, promoting lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and hiring new teachers for strengthening the faculty. Moreover, it has approved increases in salaries and developmental expenses, which are putting an extra burden on its budget. However, the real problem arises when instead of rewarding or giving special funding to GCU, for unknown reason the provincial government has placed a huge cut on its annual grant from Rs. 125 Million to just Rs. 8 Million. It is unbelievable that this financial cut has not been made only in year 2017 but this practice has been consistently followed since 2010.

The alma mater of Allama Iqbal, Faiz and Dr. Abdus Salam has been facing a creeping financial crisis for last seven years and people who matter perhaps have not looked into the grave situation. Before it is too late, and this great institution will be caught in financial quagmire and compromises its quality and prestige, its old student, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif is requested that he should give special attention to his alma mater. He should not only give a special package to GCU to bring out from financial crises and also restore its original annual grant.