The federal and provincial governments have initiated four development projects worth Rs 1,840.75 million for the uplift of Government College University Lahore.
Out of this highest ever development funds allocation for GCU, a budget of Rs. 410 million is allocated for the fiscal year 2021-22 only.
The Federal Ministry of Planning and Development approved Rs. 1158 million for Phase-II of the GCU’s New Campus. The other three projects are reflected in Punjab’s Annual Development Program (ADP) 2021-22. The total costs of Girls’ Hostel, Swimming Pool and Sufism Center are Rs. 440 million, Rs. 143.278 million and Rs. 100 million, respectively.
The most prominent of the projects is the establishment of Sheikh Abul Hasan Ash-Shadhili Sufism, Science & Technology Research Centre. The construction of girls’ hostel at the main campus will also meet a long time demand from GCU’s girls, and the provision of swimming pool will offer great opportunities for GCU to host international standards of swimming competitions.
The Phase-II of the New Campus at Kala Shah Kaku will substantiate the academic and extracurricular activities. The Phase-2 includes construction of academic block for 1200 students, hostel, residence for staff and external development works.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi said GCU is the most prestigious and oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan but it has been long ignored by the consecutive governments in terms of student facilities and expansion. He said that a campus built for a few thousand students only has now more than 14,000 students studying in more than 30 disciplines.
He said girls students from all over Pakistan comes to GCU for higher studies but unfortunately it has only one girls’ hostel with a capacity of fewer than 200 students, due to which our hundreds of students had to live in female private hostels away from the campus.
The Vice-Chancellor said that new four-storey girls’ hostel would be constructed at the University’s Science Block with a capacity for more than three hundred students.
“It would be a surprise for everyone that GCU is a winner of inter-collegiate and inter-university swimming championships, but our students have no facility of swimming pool,” Prof. Zaidi said, adding “we have to request other universities to provide their pool for the training of our teams, which we get for a very short time on their terms and conditions.”
Talking about the Sufism Centre, Prof. Zaidi said the centre is the initiative of the First Lady of Pakistan, Mrs Bushra Imran, and it would conduct research in the fields of Islamic philosophy, Sufism, spirituality, comparative study of religion and mystic traditions besides providing a platform for inter-faith dialogues at national and international level.