The Government College University Lahore, one of the oldest seats of higher learning in Pakistan, has turned 156. Founded on January 1, 1864 in the Haveli of Raja Dhyan Singh in the Walled City Lahore as the liberal arts and Science College, it served as a nourishing stream to the generations of talented men and women.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday at the university’s Abdus Salam Hall under the auspices of the Old Ravians Union (ORU) where Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, former caretaker chief minister Hassan Askari Rizvi and esteemed lawyer Zia Haider Rizvi cut the GCU 157th Founders’ Day cake along with the other eminent Old Ravians.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Zaidi announced establishing three more research chairs at the different departments of GCU, besides reiterating his commitment to appoint highly eminent and qualified people on six existing vacant chairs.Giving details of the researchers chairs, the Vice Chancellor said, that they would be established in the name of veteran psychologist Prof Dr Muhamamd Ajmal, eminent writer Syed Ahmed Shah Patras Bokhari and Old Ravian Nobel Laureate Prof Dr Hargobind Khorana.

Prof Zaidi also elaborated his idea of establishing the Social Policy Advisory Council (SPAC) for the betterment of their society. He said that Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar had kindly consented to be the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Council having five key stakeholders including media, international organizations, academia and public policy makers.

He said he had five point agenda for GCU which included improving the quality of education, research for betterment of society, bridging the gap between industry and academia, modernization/digitalization of admissions, appointments and other systems and promotion of sports and co-curricular of activities.

The Vice Chancellor said that SPAC would work towards improving key social outcomes of Pakistan inckuding awareness of mental health issues and promoting tolerance and harmony. Prof Zaidi also mentioned that the term “Old Ravians” was absolute and they would use the term “Ravian” for all those who had been the privilege to study at this great educational institution.

Hassan Askari Rizvi said that GCU had always been citadel of higher learning where ideals of tolerance and coexistence had flourished with commitment in the last 15 decades. He said the feature which made the Government College Lahore distinct from other educational institution was that here teachers focused more on charter-building and personality development of students.  Old Ravian Zia Haider Rizvi also shared the memories of his college days with the audience.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor hosted the Founders’ Day Ceremony for the senior faculty members which was also addressed by Prof Khalid Masood Siddique, the former vice principal of Government College Lahore. Prof Siddique paid tribute to the long list of illustrious Principals, Professors and students whose hard work and efforts brought this great institution to its present position of eminence.

In their messages on GCU’s birthday, the GCU senior faculty members and alumni also paid the rich tributes to the efforts of Dr Leitner, the first principle of Government College, and pledged that they would put in the best of their efforts maintain wonderful traditions of academic excellence, research, promotion of new ideas and above all, respect for others’ belief and views.

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