Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar on Monday stressed upon the youth to work hard and capitalize on available time to hone their skills for the progress and bright future of the country. 

Addressing the 21st convocation of University of Agriculture Faisalabad here, he termed the youth as an engine for bright future of the country. He advised the youth to acquire education with dedication and come up with the innovative ideas for the uplift of the country. Ch Sarwar said that the country was passing through difficult time in term of energy crisis, water scarcity, low agricultural productivity issue, and poverty. The governor pointed out that the nature had gifted Pakistan with tremendous resources. Now it is our duty to explore and get benefit from them. It is really heart-burning that half of the population is living below the poverty line. The agriculture sector plays a pivotal role in the poverty alleviation, he said adding, that the UAF scientists should expedite its efforts to cope with the challenges of food security.

He congratulated the UAF for becoming the first-ever Pakistani University ranked among top 100 universities of the globe. He also praised the UAF for its internationalization, and introducing 32 new degree programmes. Ch Sarwar said that the government was taking revolutionary steps for the uplift of the agricultural sector. He said that white revolution was being focused on to improve the quality and quantity of milk. At the current scenario, bio energy is gaining the immense importance. During the convocation, honorary degrees were conferred on Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz; former Wapda chairman Eng Shamsul Mulk and Father of Indian Green Revolution Dr MS Swaminathan.

Besides 2997 students of 2013 were conferred degrees and medals. As many as 1,297 students of graduation, 1,390 of post graduation, 209 MPhil, 19 MS computer sciences, and 82 PhDs were awarded during the convocation while 39 students were given medals.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sartaj Aziz stressed that Pakistan had a lot of potential in the agricultural sector and called for doubling the agricultural production over the next 15 years to feed ever growing population. He congratulated the UAF for rendering marvellous contributions to the academia and research. He said that research could move the country to the new heights of progress and prosperity. He said that food security and global warming were the areas of concerns for Pakistani scientists.

Dr Shamasul Mulk lauded the efforts of UAF for agriculture, saying that if you educate a man, you educate a person. But if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family. On the occasion, Dr MS Swaminathan said that being the first agricultural institutions in subcontinent, the UAF had played pivotal role in the hunger alleviation. He said that the UAF Vision 2030 would prove hallmark in the ever-green revolution of the region.

In his speech UAF VC Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that over the last four years, the UAF had initiated 32 new demand-driven programmes. A Confucius centre was being set up at the campus with the help of China in which Chinese Cultural and Language Programmes would be offered. He was of the view that UAF had kicked off first of its kind joint degree BBA (Agri Business) Programme in collaboration with IBA Sukker. He said it had established the Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security worth $30 million sponsored by the USAID. The university houses a satellite unit of a German funded International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) to fight against global hunger and poverty through research and education. The Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP) is also one of the most successful models in cooperation and partnership.

On the occasion, the Governor also laid foundation of UAF Main Gate which is being redesigned and reconstructed keeping the historical importance in view.

Later, birthday of the Governor was also celebrated. The governor also distributed cheques among Laboratory Girls High School toppers. Rabia Faridi, a student of UAF nominated for a speech in the coming UN General Assembly Session, delivered a speech on women empowerment. 

Registrar Ch Muhammad Hussain led the academic procession and Controller (Examinations) Shafqat Iqbal conducted the proceedings of the convocation. Australian Deputy High Commissioner Paul Molloy, Ali Tahir Secretary Agriculture Punjab, Arid Agriculture University VC Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and other dignitaries from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan attended the ceremony.


Govt to steer country out of darkness

FAISALABAD - The federal and provincial governments are striving hard to eliminate energy crisis and steer the country out of darkness, said Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar. He was addressing a meeting during his visit to Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) Headquarters here.

He said that the Fesco was the role model for other Discos, adding that if other Discos follow the suit, the power sector could perform in better position. He said that the government was well aware about the current energy crisis and many projects had been launched to overcome the issue. He also appreciated proposals of the former Wapda chairman Shamsul Malik, saying that had these proposals been implemented the situation would have been better today.

Earlier, Fesco Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rashid Ahmed Aslam lauded the services of Ch Sarwar, saying that his strategy for supply of drinking water in schools was very successful and large numbers of water plants had been installed. He said that the Fesco was providing electricity to 3.3 million consumers in eight districts of the region. He claimed that the Fesco was leading prominent position in all distribution companies and last year its recovery was 100.4 percent and line loses were 10.6 percent. The meeting was also attended by DCO Noorul Amin Mengal, BoD Director Javed Kamal and other Officers.