LAHORE - Vice-Chancellor Punjab University Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has emphasised upon the importance of PU Institute of Languages in imparting knowledge of different languages to promote academic, lingual and cultural relations between Pakistan and other regional as well as international countries. He expressed these views during his two-hour long visit to the Institute of Languages New Campus here on Tuesday. Dean Islamic Studies Prof Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar, Principal Oriental College Prof Dr Mazhar Moeen, Treasurer Dr Uzma Ikram, Project Director Sheikh Muhammad Ali, Director External Linkages Maria Maldonado and scholars of 18 foreign languages were also present. Appreciating the teaching of different world languages, Dr Kamran expressed the hope that the Institute will further expand and flourish in the coming years and will help contribute towards spread of knowledge of leading international languages. The Vice-Chancellor also approved funds for undertaking renovation of the Institute including provision of 20 computers, furniture, multimedia projector, conversion of corridor into library and posting of staff. He said the present administration was focusing on the PhD programme to ensure that overwhelming number of PU faculty consist of PhD scholars. For this purpose, against a meager allocation of Rs 40 lac for research in the year 2007-08, the research budget has been gradually raised to Rs 07 crore during the ongoing fiscal year. Resultantly, for the first time in the history of varsity, over 100 PhDs have been produced every year for the last three successive years. An ambitious Rs 2.50 billion Endowment Fund has also been created solely for the welfare of low-paid employees, he added. He said in view of huge annual electricity bill of Rs 22 crore, the administration was determined to provide power supply to varsity generated through solar energy to reduce ever increasing expenditure on electricity supply. The PU is going to be the first varsity in the world to meet its power requirements totally through solar energy which will also generate income through sale of surplus electricity to Wapda, he remarked. Earlier, briefing the Vice-Chancellor about the ongoing academic and linguistic Institute activities, Dean Prof Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar and Principal Prof Dr Syed Mazhar Moeen said the Institute was initiated five years ago and it was formally approved by the Syndicate through efforts of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran.