KARACHI - Federal Urdu University of Arts, Sciences and Technology (FUUAST), in its first convocation on Monday, conferred nearly 850 degrees, including 9 PhDs and 3 M. Phil to its students. Federal Minister for Education, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, was the chief guest on the occasion held at the FUUAST main campus, and awarded the degrees and medals to successful graduates. The federal minister also read out special message of President Asif Ali Zardari, the ex-officio chancellor of the university. Bajarani, in his speech, congratulated teachers, students, administration and parents on the occasion. He said that the inquiry into Farah Hameed Dogar case was being conducted at the government level and would be led to its logical consequence. He said the university's performance in a short time was very commendable. "Number of PhDs and M. Phil produced is good enough but the university should focus on the quality and channel its resources to produce effective knowledge and contribute to the global level", he said, and promised his full support for the FUUAST. HE asked the vice-chancellor to feel free to contact him any time regarding development of the university. The real character and value of the universities is directly proportional to their research and creative work, he said and hoped that FUUAST would soon be among the top most institution of the world. The minister said it was the duty of educational institutions to make the youth realise importance of patriotism. Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Qaisar, said that at present there were more than 13,000 students enrolled with the university. He said that FUUAST has established faculty of Engineering and Pharmacy, provided hundreds of news books to its libraries and state-of-the-art apparatus to the laboratories besides launching semester system in a short period of one year. "Presently, the university has three campuses and looking forward to open new ones in the country and abroad. FUUAST has successfully instituted its fundamental structure such as board of studies, board of faculty, academic council, syndicate, senate, selection board and the GRMC", he added. Dr Qaisar underscored the scarcity of funds available for the university and appealed to the minister to help in reducing the financial crunch, FUUAST was facing. He complained that present democratic government should take education as its top priority. Later, the federal minister awarded PhD degrees on Muhammad Arif (Mathematical Sciences), Zareena Ali (Botany), Tariq Hussain (Botany), Tariq Ali Rizvi (Botany), Muhammad Iqbal (Urdu), Ashraf Khurram (Education), Naheed Ibrar (Social Work), Rana Hilal (Psychology), Farooq Jobish (Education). MPhil degrees were awarded to Shaheen Abbas (Mathematical Sciences), Rashid Tanvir (Physics) and Zaffar Hussain (Zoology). Abu Bakar of Sheikhani Group of Companies granted gold medals to the first position-holders in MA examination held under the FUUAST. They included Tabbassum Kulsoom (Islamyat), Adeela Naveen (Economics), Muhammad Yasin and Asghar Ali (International Relations), Muhammad Miandad (Geography), Syed Bakar Mujeeb Hashmi (Geography), Anam Areeb (Computer Science), Umair Waqas (Statistics), Ameena (Economics), Sabit Ali (MBA) and Kashif Rasool (MCom). Merit certificates were awarded to Sadaf Sultan (BSC Hon. Zoology), Zohra Khatoon (BSC Hon. Bio-chemistry), Shagufta Manzoor (BSC Hon. Bio-chemistry), Uzma Kanwal (B.Com Hon.), Quratul Ain (BBA Hon.), Humma Nisar (BA Hon.), Muhammad Sharif (BA Hon.) and Tayyaba Zohra (BA Hon.) for obtaining first positions in their respective faculties.