A look back at 156 years of GCU
The Government College (University) Lahore is a singular educational institution whose contribution to the welfare of India, Pakistan and the world at large outweighs most other institutions in the region. Its alumni have made their mark in arts, literature, natural and social sciences, performing arts, politics, judiciary and civil service.
However, the historic citadel of learning no longer enjoys unchallenged leadership. The competition from resource-rich peers in the private sector as well as public sector institutions does not allow complacency.
Most students admire new Vice Chancellor Prof Asghar Zaidi who they say ensures transparency and fair play in all spheres of the university life. They are also in awe of his academic standing. For his part the VC says he is there to preserve and perpetuate the glory traditionally associated with GCU.
The VC says he has introduced consultative decision making and brought in transparency. He says this has earned him the admiration and appreciation of both students and his colleagues.
The faculty can now access the administration and be part of its initiatives to improve the working environment at the university. They are particularly happy that all recruitments to contractual teaching positions are being made by advertising the vacancies in national dailies and that the hiring process is fair and impartial. They have also welcomed the enhancement in the length of their contracts and revision of the emoluments for the visiting faculty. They are also excited about the incentives for research productivity.
The in-service training initiatives are being widely applauded by the young faculty. They particularly mention a day-long workshop conducted by a British Pakistani academic on psycho-social toxicity and the challenges it poses to higher education in Pakistan.
The alumni of the historic institution have also warmly received the new VC and appreciated his strategic vision. They are contributing generously in support of new academic ventures at the new GCU’s campus, located at Kala Shah Kaku.
Most students admire the new VC who they say ensures transparency and fair play in all spheres of the university life. They are also in awe of his academic standing.
A number of health professionals recently received the GCU Health Award in a ceremony the GCU hosted to pay tribute to their efforts in the containment of Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan. They award recipients paid glowing tributes to the vice chancellor and his team.
The frequent conduct of the meetings of all the statutory bodies of the university speaks volumes about thecurrent stress on the process of consultation and respect for the proper adoption of the procedures laid down in the rules of business. The deans, chairpersons, senior academics and outstanding students are regularly engaged in consultations on academic and administrative affairs of the university. The students in particular appreciate their regular interaction with the vice chancellor through the Presidents’ Council and Seniors’ Club.
The administration has sought to reinforce the student-teacher bond by introducing new students’ societies including the GCU Kashmir Society and reviving the Young Speakers’ Union. The Kashmir Society has arranged several virtual and traditional events to highlight the plight of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
The start of classes at the GCU’s New Campus and successful progress towards funding from the Planning Commission to start the construction of the second phase of various academic blocks at the New Campus are important steps to improve the institute.
The author is a student at the GC University Lahore