LAHORE - Girls this year again outshined boys in academics at the 13th convocation of the Government College University (GCU) on Friday.

Girls clinched prestigious academic medals for top positions in 18 of 30 disciplines at the BA/BSc (Honors) and MA/MSc level, while boys grabbed majority of medals and rolls of honour for excellence in co-curricular and sports activities.

Punjab Education Minister and GCU Pro-Chancellor Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan presided over the convocation proceedings in which 1,537 students received degrees, medals, rolls of honour and other distinction certificates.

The GCU convocation report highlighted that boys grabbed 17 of 21 rolls of honour and five of seven prestigious medals for their exceptional performance in co-curricular activities including debates, drama and music. Adnan Farooq was awarded the ‘Shahbaz Sharif Gold Medal’ for the best Urdu Speaker of GCU. Zilla-e-Huma received the ‘Dr Sadia Karamat Medal’ for best female graduate. MominYar Khalid was declared the overall outstanding intermediate student. Zahid Ali, Khwaja Yasin, Ahmed Ch and Kinza Mumtaz also received prestigious co-curricular medals.

Only one female, Sadaf Mehmood, won the sports rolls of honour this year for winning various inter-universities competitions in Rifle Shooting for GCU. The Pro Chancellor also presented PhD (doctorate of philosophy) degrees to 55 scholars in ten different disciplines including biotechnology and environmental sciences.

Addressing the convocation, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said with the start of 27 new academic programmes including PhD Computer Sciences, PhD Applied Physics and PhD Islamic Studies, the overall student strength of the university had increased from 6,200 in the year 2011 to 11,557 in the year 2014. He said that last year, 34,000 students applied for admissions to various programmes, out  we receive over 34,000 admission applications every year out of which only 4,000 were admitted on merit. He said that besides Pakistani, students from China, Japan, Korea and Turkey were also studying at GCU.

Congratulating the young graduates on receiving degrees, the Vice Chancellor said that they were expected to trace the footsteps of the legendary Old Ravians like Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Prof Abdus Salam and left your imprint on the sand of time. “As you take great strides in practical life, you must not forget the huge debt that you owe to your Alma Mater and pay it back as much as you can. In fact, by doing so, you will be building up your own future,” he concluded.

Addressing the students, Rana Mashood congratulated the university faculty members on getting their three inventions patented from the Unites States Patent Office in a short period of just two years, saying that it clearly indicated the excellence of research being done at GCU.

He said that GCU despite having limited financial resources had consistently showed excellence in academics, research and sports.

 He said that their government was fully aware of space constraints in view growing needs of GCU and they would provide maximum funding for the new campus of GCU at Kala Shah Kaku. He said that GCU had completed the master planning of the campus and its PC-I had been approved by the Higher Education Commission.

He also said that GCU had provided leaders to Pakistan, adding that this young generation graduating today would play a vital role in the development of their country.

GCU Dean Faculty of Science and Technology Prof Dr Islam Ullah Khan and Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh also addressed the convocation.