LAHORE - The seventh convocation of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore was held yesterday.

Chancellor/Governor Punjab Malik Rafique Rajwana presided over the convocation in which total 757 graduates, 163 of them DVMs, 173 BS (Hons), 64 Pharm-D, 21 MBA, 12 MBA (Executive), 12 MBF, 16 BBA (Hons), 28 MSc Zoology, 246 MPhil and 22 PhDs were conferred degrees. Also 38 position-winning graduates were awarded medals.

Addressing the convocation, the governor congratulated the graduating students on getting degrees and medals and said that it is now their responsibility to pay back to the society and contribute to the nation building and development.

He lauded the progress achieved by the UVAS and positioned itself among top 10 universities of Pakistan. Addressing the graduating students and the faculty, the governor said that the world is fast changing than ever, so we all need to think critically, be intellectually responsive and prone to creativity.

He said that the UVAS has a key role in helping the country be self-sufficient in food. He asked the university to enhance its role as a major support institution for the development of local innovation in livestock and allied sectors and provide skilled human resources. He said that we need to be prepared to respond to animal disease incursion in a timely and cost-effective way and to have up-to-date policies and response structures in place to achieve this. “The work of this university is much appreciated that it is building academic partnership with government, industry and other public and private stakeholders for promotion of education, research, public services and national development.”

He said that development of livestock is government’s priority. He made it clear that there will be no compromise on quality of education and sought help from media and society to achieve this goal.

Earlier, the governor along with the Vice-Chancellor gave away degrees to PhD scholars and medals to the position-winning graduates.

Presenting the welcome address, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha spoke about the academics, research, development, extension programs and community services of the university. He said that with a history of 133 years of excellence, UVAS is now positioned among top 10 universities of Pakistan in academics as well as sports. He said that the UVAS has fast moved towards a multi-level education and skill-development institution by using knowledge, resources and skills for human resource development.

He said that the UVAS has emerged as a hub of professional advancement in wide-ranging areas including veterinary and animal sciences, animal production and technology, biotechnology, microbiology, pharmaceutical sciences, food and nutrition sciences, environmental sciences, zoology, economics and business management. He said that the university has so far produced 138 PhDs, 1,795 MPhils and Masters and 4,866 bachelor graduates. The Vice-Chancellor said that equipped with state-of-the-art teaching, training, research, clinical and diagnostic facilities, the UVAS demonstrates professional excellence in multidimensional focus areas of academics, research and services.

“The university plays a pivotal role in economic development through applied research,” he said adding that presently UVAS scientists are executing 72 research projects worth Rs 858 million and the faculty members have published 413 papers in impact factor journals during this year. “UVAS offers wide-ranging services, including diagnostics facilities, clinical and extension services, vaccine production, consultancy and advisory services, regulations and policy framework, to farmers, pet owners, community members and industry stakeholders,” he added.

Prof Pasha said, “This year the UVAS has done quite an outstanding job with its mix of teaching and research in development. The university has initiated work on Rs 980 million development project approved by Planning Commission for enhancement of research facilities on Ravi Campus Pattoki. Work on Rs 3 billion Punjab government project for establishment of Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Bahawalpur has also initiated with the technical collaboration of Selcuk University and Ankara University, Turkey. It also started work on establishment of Para-Veterinary School at Narowal for which the Punjab government has granted Rs 195.280 million.”

With the assistance of Punjab Enabling Environment project of USAID, the university has established the first-ever Centre for Applied Policy Research in Livestock this year and prepared Livestock Vision 2025 for the government of Pakistan.