BAHAWALPUR-Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar has said that development of Southern Punjab particularly the promotion of education is the top priority of the present government. “Universities of Southern Punjab have an important role to play in socio-economic development of the region.”

The governor expressed these views during a meeting with Prof Dr Qaiser Mushtaq, Vice Chancellor, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur at Governor House, Lahore.

He said that excellence in teaching and research could bring prosperity to Pakistan which could help it earn a dignified place in the world. “The government while providing resources to higher education institutions expects them to show better performance in academia and research.” He further said: “Our faculties, researchers and students are bestowed with the best talent and can bring laurels.”

Prof Dr Qaiser Mushtaq apprised the governor of academic and developmental activities at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur. He said that all out efforts had been made to ensure implementation of rules and regulations in the affairs of the university through a comprehensive plan to ensure institutional decision making which was lacking in the past. The major forums of the university including senate, syndicate and academic council had been made functional through holding of regular meetings.

He said that as many as 237 faculty members had been appointed and most of them were PhDs to enhance research activities. “Academic calendar implemented in 2015 has brought regularity in academic activities, boost in admissions resulting greater number of students.”

He said that the budget deficit of Rs343 million had been converted to surplus of Rs171 million while development budget had also reached at the highest level in 12 years.

“The delayed projects of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar campuses and Agriculture College have been completed with construction of new building for education faculty.” He added that four new hostels and building for faculty of Management Sciences was near completion.

Governor Punjab appreciated the administrative and academic steps including meritocracy, transparency, control on fiscal corruption and introducing culture of accountability in the university. He also said that he would soon visit the university to observe educational and developmental activities in the campus.