Sunday, October 16, 2011

Decade Celebrations: Hazara University turns 10!

October 10, 2001 has been a very important day of historical significance when the foundation of Hazara University was laid. The establishment of Hazara University won the hearts and minds of the people for it brought the blessings of higher education to the doorsteps of a very backward community and its talented youth who were kept deprived for many decades since the independence of the country in 1947. It was stated by Prof. Dr. Syed Sakhawat Shah, Vice Chancellor Hazara University while addressing the inaugural gathering in the Multipurpose Hall in connection with first decade celebrations. He told that when I took over as a Vice Chancellor on February 09, 2010. Being a son of the soil, I brought in my heart a strong passion to elevate the status of this university to which I owe moral, professional and patriotic obligations. Soon after taking over the charge, I started to motivate the faculty towards quality education and research-oriented approach. It is an established fact that the universities of the developed world had played a very powerful role to change the economic, social and political destiny of nations. My mission was to restructure the paradigm of Hazara University to achieve the same objectives to make Pakistan a vibrant and economically independent nation with useful need oriented industrial collaboration. The scholars of this region are quite fired with fresh enthusiasm to equip themselves with the findings of new discovery and research rapidly changing the world into a global village. I have discussed the issue of useful collaboration with the universities of industrialised countries for sharing latest research and academic activities. Dr. Shah said "on this day of rejoicing and hope, I urge upon my faculty, students and staff to coordinate our efforts and further travel ahead to win new laurels for the university. I have been continuously urging on the chairmen of the departments to reactivate the research activities and prepared projects for the improvement of laboratories, libraries and other related issues for upgrading the teaching and research standard of the university. In these times of hard financial crises, Hazara University needs the financial support of the friends of Hazara for the sustained growth and development of this nascent university. The philanthropists, the social reformers and those having the cause of higher education dear to their hearts must come forward to extend much needed financial support, so that the dazzling flames of higher education at Hazara University could be kept illuminating the environment".
Message of the founding Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Adeel was read out for the audience. He said �Who would have thought that a decade will pass on the existence of Hazara University so quickly? The day I arrived on the Campus of newly announced Hazara University in October 2001, there was no office to welcome me. I sat on a borrowed chair to dictate my first letter to all the educational institutions in the surrounding area, informing them of our intention to start the University immediately, one year prior to the official Government schedule. Within days we announced Admissions schedule and tests for the seven Departments and also started the process for hiring the founding Faculty. The founding students as well as the Founding Faculty and staff were all selected purely on merit, ignoring all pressures from all directions. With a couple of hundred students and a small group of highly dedicated teachers, Hazara University took off to a great start with a vision to ethically and intellectually transform the lives of all those who came to join. Its mission was to train men and women of sterling character and great intellectual depth for changing the direction of our national life. It gives me great satisfaction, therefore, to note that all the founding Faculty and students have seen great success in their lives wherever they happen to be today. Universities are structured and driven by their values and missions just as the lives of men and women are. There can be no crisis in the lives of institutions or persons as long as their values are ethically correct and have a right balance to them. Shortfall in resources can never destroy people and institutions. The crisis starts when values get corrupted. Only then we fall both as individuals and institutions. State of our society today bears ample testimony to this fact. We are a nation submerged in all sorts of crises and difficulties. Therefore, young institutions like Hazara University face a dual challenge in terms of keeping themselves protected from deterioration in values and making every effort possible to transform the character of younger generations for the better. These institutions have to fight to survive in a messy state of societal affairs and also struggle hard to change the society for the better. This obviously is a tremendous challenge and the path towards meeting this challenge is riddled with pitfalls. That is why young universities have to rise after every fall and keep their ethical spirit focused on great ideals of education, liberty, and justice for all. Nothing can harm a university if it is honest in imparting high quality education, respects the free opinion of all its members, and provides just decisions to all concerned at all costs. The glory of snow-capped peaks surrounding Hazara University symbolizes the purity of these values, and as long as the peaks shine, Hazara University will continue to strive for achieving these values. I am sure thousands of saplings that we planted on the Campus in the first year of its existence have grown into young trees by now. They along with young students embody the welcoming and peaceful spirit of Hazara region. May this spirit grow from strength to strength and serve the entire humanity, regardless of who comes from where, in the decades and centuries to come. Our love for humanity is our eternal asset and glows in our hearts wherever we are. May this love run through the spirit of Hazara University till the end of time and may all its students, teachers and administrators become the envy of the world in terms of their academic excellence and fair decisions. My heartfelt congratulations to all of them on these celebrations of the first decade.
Former Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Daud Awan also addressed the gathering and said that for the development of this university I was guided by the eminent scientists, scholars, lawyers and educationists which includes Prof. Dr. A J Khan, Lt. Gen. S. Salah-ud-Din Tirmizi; Prof. Dr S. Iqbal Shah;, Prof. Dr. Shahnaz Malik, Principal Scientist, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. Syed Mussarat H. Shah, Prof. Dr. M. Ayub, Prof. Tahir Farooq; Mufti Muhammad Idrees (Late) the prominent attorney; Mr Abdur Rahman Khan (late) and the last but the most, the founding Chancellor of the Hazara University, Lt. Gen. Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, the then Governor, and his staff, who had been a source of sustained succour for me. All used to take pains to attend meetings at the University campus and tried their best in the foundation laying days of this nascent University to make it globally accepted as a vibrant seat of academic-professional excellence and research. Being a son of local soil, have legitimate and hoary memories lingering in this heart, at its embryonic stage unfortunately a turmoil situation was created for the University. Prof. Dr Ashraf Adeel, the first Vice Chancellor was not given extension in his lien by the University of Peshawar and had left on 22.11.2002. He said that in national university ranking Hazara University stood on top of sixty universities of its kind and 3rd in the province. The weeklong celebrations will continue till October 14, 2011.