RAWALPINDI – A total of 1580 students were awarded degrees while 39 were decorated with medals in the 14th convocation of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) here on Thursday. Some 28 graduates got gold medals, 7 silver medals, 4 bronze medals, while 14 students got PhD degrees. On the occasion, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Executive Director (ED) Higher Education Commission was the guest of the day while His Excellency Choongjoo Choi, Ambassador of South Korea was the guest of honor. Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, Vice Chancellor (VC) PMAS was the chief guest on the occasion.Executive Director HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said in his address that the universities’ faculties have great potential and HEC was trying its best to provide all opportunities to facilitate them. He said that HEC would continuously support institutions of higher learning. Dr Mukhtar congratulated the graduates and expressed the views that the students were the future of Pakistan and we could make Pakistan prosper through the art of education and technology. He further said that it was the dire need of the time to promote education at higher level in the country and universities were source of creation of new dimensions in the field of research and knowledge. He emphasized that students must contribute for the development of country. He also lauded the efforts of the university administration for research-based education.VC Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his address, said that the university stood 7th in HEC ranking considering 116 universities of Pakistan whereas among agriculture universities PMAS-AAUR achieved 2nd position. He further said that last year university started two new degree programs BS Forestry and Ph.D. Computer Sciences in addition to this various short-term training courses were also arranged for the farmers of the area to strengthen the ties between university and community at large. Dr Niaz also informed the gathering to create favorable environment for research, brace cooperation with national and international R&D organizations, university signed six MoUs with different organizations. While sharing the future plan, He said that university Administration was going to establish a new Faculty of Agriculture Engineering and Pak-Korea Capacity Building Centre for Agriculture & Livestock Technology with the help of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The total cost of the project was $3.5 million and the center would be helpful for farming community in agriculture for value addition, scientific agriculture and livestock, he concluded.Choongjoo Choi, Ambassador of South Korea, while sharing his views thanked the Pakistani nation for its contribution to achieve the Korea the present position. Korea was trying to repay the contribution to boost up Pakistan from the position where Korea had been 50 years ago, he added. He further said that Establishment of Capacity Building Center at PMAS-AAUR was a link to that chain to uplift the farming community of Pakistan and to provide them an opportunity to use advance technologies in agriculture and livestock production.He assured that Korean Embassy would do its best to enhance the development of Pakistan and the friendship relations between the two nations in the spirit of cooperation and good will. While discussing the agriculture and livestock he said that these were the backbone of a country and students must play their role in the agricultural development of Pakistan. Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Choongjoo Choi, Ambassador of South Korea and Prof. Dr Rai Niaz also distributed degrees and decorated the students with medals. Dr Mukhtar also inaugurated the flower show while Ambassador of South Korea inaugurated the Fancy Bird Show and Job fair at the University.The Ph.D degree holders were Imran Mahmood (Agronomy), Muhammad Ahmad (Agronomy), Humayun Javed (Entomology), Rashid Mahmood (Entomology), Muhammad Javed Tareen (Horticulture), Naser Mahmood Minhas (Plant Breeding & Genetics), Syeda Farah Naqvi (Plant Pathology), Muhammad Zameer Kayani (Plant Pathology), Muhammad Asghar Malik (Soil Science), Arshad Nawaz (Soil Science), Sadiq Noor Khan (Biochemistry), Zahid Anwar (Biochemistry), Muhammad Zafar Ullah (Zoology), Zahid Sharif Mirza (Zoology).Those who got gold medals included Azka Shahid (B.Sc (Hons) Agriculture (Food Technology), Huma Nazir Kayani (M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Entomology), Saima Bilal (M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Food Technology), Anam Saleem (M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Plant Pathology), Juliya Abbasi (M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Plant Breeding & Genetics), Rabeea Tariq M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Horticulture), Sara Niaz (M.Sc. (Hons) Agriculture (Soil Science), Nazish Gul (M.Sc. (Biochemistry), Huma Qureshi M.Sc. (Botany), Sana Irm, M.Sc. (Statistics), Maria Barkaat, M.Sc. (Zoology), Naila Arif Cheema, M. Phil (Biochemistry), Midhat Fatima M. Phil (Biology),Sehrish Sadia M. Phil (Botany), Maliha Jabeen M.Sc (Environmental Science), Sadaf Siddique M.Phil (Forestry & Range Management), Muhammad Shoaib DVM, Saira Saeed BBA (Honors), Nauman Khalid MBA, Saima Kausar (MBA), Faiza Zahoor MS (Management Science), Atia Munir (B.Ed.), Khansa Tarar (M.Ed), Kiran Akhtar M. Phil (Education), Fahmeeda Ajab Khan BS (CS), Syeda Myra Batool BS(IT), Sana Takveen BS(CS) / BIIT, Muhammad Danish Hassan MCS/BIIT.Maryam Shafique Awan B.Sc (Hons) Agriculture (Food Technology), Usman Ayaz DVM, Huma Batool BBA (Honors), Qurrat Ul Ain BS (CS), Sada e Rasool BS(IT),Syed Sabah-ud-Din Gilani BS(CS)/BIIT, Jawed Ansar BS (IT)/BIIT were the silver medalist.Bronze medals were decorated to Maria Batool B.Sc (Hons) Agriculture (Plant Pathology), Anum Maqsood BBA (Honors), Ali Naqi BS (CS), Qurrat Ul Ain Mughal BS(IT). Azka Shahid B.Sc. (Hons) Agri.(Food Technology), Fahmeeda Ajab Khan BS(CS) got gold medals with cash prizes from Punjab Bank.Juliya Abbasi Master of Science (Hons.) Agri (PBG) was given medal by ICI Pakistan Ltd.Syeda Myra Batool BS (IT) won Gold Medal by the Access Communication Solution (Pvt) Ltd.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 29-Mar-2013 here.