ISLAMABAD - More than 600 students of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad were awarded graduate and postgraduate degrees in different disciplines at 31st convocation here on Wednesday. The students who were awarded Chancellors Gold Medal included Jawad Hussain, Atiq-ur-Rehman, Abdul Majeed Fazal, Muhammad Ali Rafique, Sumbul Sajjad, Sakina Shabbir, Amtul Samie Maqbool, Waqar Shams, and Zeeshan Munawar. Two PhD degrees in Biosciences were awarded to Maleeha Azam, Faraz Arshad and one PhD degree was awarded in Physics to Shabbir Ahmad. Federal Minister for Science and Technology and Chancellor of CIIT Muhammad Azam Khan Swati who was the chief guest on the occasion, awarded degrees and awards. He appreciating the efforts of CIIT faculty said investment in science and technology is more profitable than any other sector. It is highly honourable for those who are going to join only five per cent population by earning graduate and postgraduate degrees, he added. It is a fact that higher education and science & technology have never been given priority by previous as well as the present government. He said Japan has more budget for higher education as compared to all Islamic countries. As future leader of the nation you have to work by focusing your intentions on economic development and prosperity. Rector CIIT Dr SM Junaid Zaidi and Executive Director of CIIT Dr Imtinan Ilahi Qureshi also addressed the gathering. Dr Zaidi said knowledge acquirement and higher education are transforming virtually every aspect of new age. He said IT institutions have been trusted to be the centre stage of academia. These institutions have the mandate to evolve a knowledge based socio-economic culture in the country to help the nation to face the modern challenges of globalisation, he said. Uzma Pervez, a special female student who was also awarded degree at the ceremony, while sharing her views said she was proud to be amongst those who earned the degree in MBA (Finance) and she never faced any biased behaviour by her colleagues and teachers in CIIT. The university also awarded two awards namely Dr QK Ghori Award for the best thesis of Mathematics to Fozia Sattar and Kausar Bashir Award for best performer in Architecture to Sohaib Nawaz. At the end, Anayat-ur-Rehman, Assistant Controller of Examination CIIT presented the scroll to Chancellor Azam Khan Swati.