By Ghulam Hussain
LAHORE: When I assumed the charge as Vice-Chancellor of the prestigious Government College University (GCU), I had set many goals which I had to achieve during my four years tenure. I held many meetings with my colleagues and set many targets for this purpose.
We discussed in details that how we would do better research work in different fields. Then there was a huge challenge ahead in the shape of Kala Shah Kaku (KSK) campus which we had to complete.
Besides, there were many other challenges and targets, which we had to face and achieve. Many targets have been achieved and many not. I am satisfied with whatever I did for the GCU did my best, I have utilised best of my abilities, efforts and skills honestly for the betterment of GCU.
These views were expressed by Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah, Vice-Chancellor of Government College University (GCU) in an exclusive interview with Daily The Business here the other day.
Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah, a recipient of Sitara-i-Imtiaz, is the 30th head and third Vice-Chancellor of GCU and is an eminent physicist with specialisation in Theoretical Plasma Physics.
He has done post-doctoral fellowships at several reputed foreign institutions including the University of Sussex London, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy and the Space Physics Institute, Rome. He still has research collaborations with top institutions of the world and proudly overall impact factor of his research papers exceeds 176.
Dr Hassan Amir Shah said the rating of GCU had gone down for some time, but now it was much better due to our research works and efforts.
Now we are giving regular training to our teachers in the research work field and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had also helped us very much in improving the rating of GCU.
About the GCU Kala Shah Kaku (KSK) campus, Dr Shah said when we had begun the work at KSK campus, we had only the land and the boundary walls, now with the grace of Almighty Allah, we have completed 99 percent work at the KSK campus. We have completed the academic block and some other blocks.
With the help of the HEC, we have set up Sociology Department and Punjabi Department at the KSK campus. We have also set up Banking and Commerce departments separately, while we would also launch M.Phil projects in different subjects.
We would start classes here in next two or three months, Dr Shah proudly said. Dr Shah said the Manchester, Oxford and other foreign universities have their centuries old traditions and have better fundings, still we are nowhere, we have to do hard work, better research work, even the budget of Singapore’s university is much better than ours, Dr Shah maintained.
The GCU Vice-Chancellor said that he has also plan to start Turkish language department in GCU, but we have space problems and funding issues. But, in this connection, we are in contact with the Turkish Embassy.
Dr Shah said it was unnecessary to say that there should be uniformed education system in Pakistan, he said first of all we have to understand that what is the uniformed system of education. It is the duty of the ruling elite that they should think over the matter that what is the uniformed system of education.
Dr Shah said that the GCU students have always bright future, they have best job opportunities, they go to the CSS exams.
About the character-building of the students, Dr Shah said that there are more than 55 clubs, committees and societies in the GCU, which are contributing their best efforts to the character-building of the students.
They go to the Northern Areas for mountaineering and camping and this is the best way of students’ character-building.
Character-building of the students is the top priority of the GCU, Dr Shah stressed.
To a question, Dr Shah said that the degrees of GCU have values and best recognised in the world and our students get jobs abroad on GCU degrees.
About the additional charge as Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Tianjin University of Technology, Lahore, Dr Shah said that this set up is temporary till a regular Vice-Chancellor and a secretariat over there.
About the Endowment Fund, Dr Shah said this time we have Rs 40 crore Endowment Fund and every year more than 600 students apply for the endowment fund and they are getting education with this financial support.
He said our Old Ravians are the main donors of this endowment fund. In a recent Punjab Governor’s dinner, we collected Rs 2 crore donations within a short time, Dr Shah revealed.
Dr Shah said that there is always a lot of pressure, while working as a Vice-Chancellor of the university, people called me for favour, but here in the GCU every work is done on merit, only merit is the tradition of the GCU.
Dr Shah said that whatever I am today is due to my parents’ prayers, every home have its own values and traditions, but my main strength is the prayers of my parents.
Then our teachers play very vital role in our successes and another thing is the spirit, which we should have for moving ahead. We should not run after things, rather we should fight for things, then the God would give you success, Dr Shah stressed.
To another question that how the remaining things, work would be completed as your tenure as VC is going to be completed, Dr Shah said I don’t want extension in my tenure, because age limit for the GCU Vice-Chancellor is 65 years. But if there would any change in rules for the age relaxation for this post, I mean more than 65 years age limit, then I would definitely apply for the Vice-Chancellorship, Dr Shah said enthusiastically.
At the end Dr Shah said that I like Dr Abdul Islam very much with reference to Physics, because Dr Islam earned name for Pakistan in the field of Physics.