RAWALPINDI - The annual Aridian Youth Festival 2014 was organized by Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) Wednesday to enhance students' confidence and to provide them a platform to conceive innovative ideas and explore their talent. Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad opened the festival during a colorful ceremony held at the campus while Shiekh Aftab Ahmad, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony.Students of various departments took part in different competitions included Naat competition, singing competition, drama competition and talent show.In his address, the minister said that soon a sub-campus of the varsity would be established in Attock and different degree programmes would be announced with special emphasis on agriculture of the area to uplift of the farming community.He further stated that the youth was an asset of the country as they would lead Pakistan in future in various fields and serve the nation. He was of the view that Pakistan needed to take tangible steps to educate the youth and the government was committed to taking revolutionary steps for the improvement of the education facilities and making them accessible to everyone. He also stressed the need for creating awareness among masses. While highlighting the importance of co-curricular activities, he said that the involvement of students in all such activities help them to build their confidence, personality and character. He further said that active participation and involvement of the students in different extracurricular activities was a dire need of the day and essential for inculcating in them the sense of responsibility, discipline, obedience and punctuality.The minister also appreciated the efforts and developments being made by the university and congratulated the administration for organizing such a colorful event.Speaking on the occasion, the VC said that such activities were an essential part of the university's curriculum to help promote a sense of healthy competition among the youth. He lauded the efforts of the university's faculty members, the management and students for organizing the event. He also applauded the efforts of students who participated in various programmes to make the festival more colourful and stressed the need for organizing such events to highlight the hidden talent of the youth.In the Naat competition, Sadia of Sciences Faculty got first while Nayyer Sultana of Education Department bagged second position and Owais Ali of Agriculture Faculty was declared third. In the Songs competition, Imran Ali of of Management Sciences got the first position among participants. Jahangir of Education Department stood second, while Adeel Bukhari of Information Technology stood third. In the Drama competition, Faculty of Sciences team stood first, while Agriculture Faculty Team obtained the second position. Management Sciences team was declared third. Students while presenting Dramas highlighted the problems confronting Pakistan. Young artists presented in dramas that it's now youth responsibility to play their due role for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan. A big gathering of audience comprising distinguished faculty members and students were witnessed on the occasion. The audience not only boosted the confidence of the participants but also appreciated them on their marvelous performance.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 23-Jan-2014 here.