Convocation Welcome Address By PU VC

March 14, 2016

Convocation Welcome Address 2016

          Our Chief Guest Hon’ble Governor of State of Haryana, State of Punjab and Administrator of Union Territory Chandigarh, Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki ji, internationally acclaimed Pharmaceutical Scientist, Prof.  Harkishan Singh ji, Renowned Historian, Educationist and Social Scientist Prof. Jagtar Singh Grewal ji, World Sports Icon Olympian Shri Balbir Singh Dosanjh  ji, present and past members of the P.U. Senate and Syndicate, my predecessor Vice Chancellors, Principals of affiliated colleges, serving and superannuated teaching colleagues from Campus and Colleges of P.U., faculty and scientists from CRIKC institutions, present and past officers of P.U., Graduates, Past Graduates and Ph.Ds awaiting to receive today their Degrees, Medals, Cash Prizes and Mementos, parents of degree holders, members of the Civil Society, media persons, ladies and gentlemen,  I consider it a privilege and honour to have an opportunity to welcome all of you to the 65th Annual Convocation of Panjab University in Independent India.

          A special facet of this year’s Convocation is that a teacher, Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki ji, is once again a Governor of Punjab, after a gap of 43 years.  Prof. D.C. Pavate, a former Vice Chancellor of University of Karnataka at Dharwar, was the Governor of Punjab from 1967 to 1973, soon after the reorganization of the combined Punjab State and creation of UT Chandigarh.  Incidentally, I had the occasion to receive a Prize from him at the Annual Day of D.A.V. College in Jalandhar in1968, as well as my B.Sc. Hons. School Degree in 1971 at Chandigarh.  Eminent Academicians, like Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and Dr. Zakir Hussain had served as Vice Presidents and Presidents of India. However, such occurrences have become rarer in recent decades. I do personally hope to see Professor Solanki ji emulating their path. The degree holders today are going to be blessed by such a persona.

I am happy to share with all of you that PU has continued to be adjudged amongst premier most Research Universities of India in the international ranking surveys based in USA and UK. The alumni of the University continue to receive accolades at the highest national and international fora. Three PU alumni figured amongst the list of Padma Awardees on the Republic Day 2016, and two others were made as  FRS, i.e., they were elected by their peers to the Fellowship of The Royal Society, London. Four out of these five visited and delivered lectures in Chandigarh recently. PU alumnus and PU Vigyan Rattan Awardee in 2015, Dr. Girish Sahni, was selected to serve as Director General of CSIR some months ago and PU alumnus Justice Kehar, is currently the Senior most Judge of the Supreme Court and he is expected to succeed the present Chief Justice, Justice T.S. Thakur, who had also served as a Guest Faculty in Department of Laws of Panjab University.

In the background of successful re-initiation of Honours School in Social Sciences in newly conceived PU Institute of Social Science Education and Research after a gap of 90 years, the Basic Medical Science Departments of PU have joined together to commence PU Institute of Basic Medical Science Education and Research from next academic year. The Nobel Laureate and President of the Royal Society, London, Prof. Venky Ramakrishnan, has blessed this new initiative of PU. Bharat Ratna Prof. C.N.R. Rao has also appreciated this move. Both of them visited our campus and other CRIKC institutions in recent months and delivered a series of lectures. There is a renewed enthusiasm amongst the faculty and the students of PU. The University continues to draw into to its fold talented students and good applicants for new faculty positions. If it can be ensured that PU would receive the committed assistance from Punjab State and the Central Government in a timely manner, this University has the potential to live upto high expectations from a national institution.

We are all looking forward to a motivational convocation address by Prof. Solanki to strengthen our resolve to remain committed to sustain and enhance the competitiveness of PU as a Centre of excellence in higher education globally. NAAC report has enunciated some directions to follow, our newly created Directorates of IQAC and Research Promotion Cell are earnestly pursuing the tasks and their efforts should fructify in next few years.

To conclude, I wish to congratulate all those who are going to receive their degrees and Medals today. Panjab University has had traditions for long to award Honoris Causa degrees to distinguished and Iconic persona at Annual Convocation. PU instituted Vigyan Rattan and Udyog Rattan Awards more than five years ago. The PU Sahitya Ratna award was commenced last year. This year Gian Rattan, Khel Ratna and Kala Ratna awards have been added to it. The Six PU Ratna awards from now onwards shall be announced biennially, i.e., three at a time; the Vigyan Ratna, Sahitya Ratna and Kala Ratna in one year and Gian Ratna, Udyog Ratna and Khel Ratna in another year. The Udyog Ratna Awardee, Shri Y.K. Daveshwar of ITC is unable to join us today. I wish to thank Prof. Harkishan Singh ji, Prof. G.S. Grewal ji and Shri Balbir Singh ji for accepting to come at the 65th Annual Convocation.

Thanks to all of you as well, who are here in spite of uncertain weather condition.

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