Islamabad - A total of 2109 students were awarded degrees at the 16th convocation of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) held here at Jinnah Convention Centre on Monday.

As many as 42 students received PhD degrees, 365 were awarded MPhil and MS degrees, 1,056 secured master degrees while 646 students got undergraduate degrees in their respective disciplines. Gold medals were awarded to 32 students on their outstanding performance in their academic record while seven bagged silver and six secured bronze medal in the convocation. Four students got sponsored gold medals and certificates on their distinctions and quality work.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, was the chief guest while Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Vice Chancellor University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad, and Director General Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Sung Choon-ki were the guests of honour. The Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed and a large number of PML-N legislators and parents of position holder students were also present on the occasion. While addressing on the occasion, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the country is passing through a crucial phase and due to current challenges there is scarcity of jobs. “The PML-N cannot provide jobs to all the graduates. However, the government is trying hard to strengthen the economy to create jobs opportunities,” he added. He advised students to work as entrepreneurs and contribute their due share in the national economy. Abbasi said entrepreneurship was a vast sector and there were number of opportunities in it but the youth have to explore those opportunities with their hard work as it is the only key to success. He appreciated the role of the university for the uplift of higher education and assured full support from the government.

HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said it is a great privilege that World Islamic Bank has announced Pakistan as the third country for transfer of technology. He said only two countries were ranked above in this category including Turkey and Malaysia. Dr Mukhtar announced that within next three to four years, a university or a sub-campus of a university would be established in every district of the country to promote higher education in the country. He further said that those universities who were not meeting the criteria of higher education would be closed as there was no compromise on quality.

VC PMAS-AAUR Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his welcome address, informed that planning commission has approved an amount of Rs 751 million for strengthening newly established faculty of agriculture engineering and technology this year.