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The Ideal Chancellor in the History of Punjab

Ayesha Zahid
Without education, it is complete darkness and with education it is light. Education is a matter of life and death to our nation. The world is moving so fast that if you do not educate yourselves you will be not only completely left behind but will be finished up”—Quaid-e-Azam. Education leads us towards the path of knowledge, critical thinking, empowerment, creativity, and skills. No country can progress if it stifles the potential of youth by depriving them of education. To cope with today’s advancements, higher education is inevitable. Universities in this regard are advancing worldwide where practicality and skills are the main focus. In Pakistan, higher education was facing many challenges including nepotism, political interference, regular appointments of VCs, funds for quotas, and bootless research. As the Chancellor of all the Universities in Punjab, Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar countered these challenges by bringing many revolutionary reforms in higher education that not only proffered benefits to the students but also the faculty and has overall improved the performance of Punjab’s universities. His innovations have yielded constructive outcomes. Now the universities of Punjab are being ranked among the top universities of the world. This has been made possible only by ensuring merit and transparency. In the past, universities could not progress due to rampant nepotism and political interference. But with Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar as the Chancellor of public and private universities of Punjab, he has ensured total transparency in the institutions. In his tenure as the Chancellor of Punjab universities, the priority of Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has been to bring revolutions in higher education for the development of Pakistan because it is his vision that students are the future and asset of Pakistan. Governor Punjab has achieved many milestones and is still working on several prospects with fervent determination. When he took charge, a challenge for Governor Punjab was the regular appointments of the Vice-Chancellors in the universities. Now regular appointments have been made for 36 Vice-Chancellors in the public sector universities. Along with the Vice-Chancellors, he appointed 89 Deans of different faculties of the public sector universities. These appointments have ameliorated the educational standards. All of this was based on merit and transparency, unlike the previous governments where only Vice-Chancellors on the basis of ad-hoc were appointed which highly stagnated the performance of universities, reducing it to a substandard level. The biggest milestone of Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was the enhancement of quota and to waive off tuition fees, postal charges, and other facilities for the students of Balochistan, ex-FATA, and Gilgit Baltistan. Previous governments announced new admission quotas but never provided any funds to continue it, leaving the universities in a financial crisis. Not only did Governor Punjab give funds but also enhance the scholarships for the deserving students so that they may acquire a quality education without delving into financial stress. In the tenure of Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar as the Chancellor of all Punjab universities, unfortunately, the appalling times of COVID-19 emerged, when education became impossible. But he along with the faculty of the universities saved students’ academic year by introducing the system of online classes so that the education of these students does not come to a halt in COVID-19. Now the whole world praises the policies of Pakistan against COVID-19. Furthermore, he initiated community service in the public sector universities to combat and prevent the breakout of COVID-19 which was an essential step towards fighting it and bringing our lives back to normal. Under Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar’s tenure as the Punjab Universities Chancellor, the public as well as private sector universities have gained glory and achieved progress at the national as well as the international level due to the academic achievement, and research. In Pakistan, the research sector was deteriorating. Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was well aware of the shortcomings of Pakistani universities, and he effectively vanquished those stumbling blocks with his vigorous efforts. Currently, Pakistan’s universities are competing with international universities worldwide. He inaugurated the office of research, innovation, and commercialization (ORIC) and QEC fully functional and their performance evaluation. It improved the research sector of Universities in Punjab.Under the patronage of the Chancellor of all Punjab universities, various MOUs were signed even with the international universities. An MOU was signed between the University of California and the Agricultural University of Faisalabad. As a result of MOU, these two universities will collaborate for research and to boost seed production along with the productivity of crops.The mission of Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has not been confined up to this mark rather these achievements act as a catalyst towards his future endeavors. His future plans include interactive dialogue among key stakeholders in higher education, sharing priorities and expectations of the government, development of a road map to confront them effectively. The records and progress of the universities are showing that the initiatives and reforms made by Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar are unprecedented and impeccable. I hope that in the future as well Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar continues to strive for the development and progress of public and private universities.

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