PUCIT arranged its first Degree Awarding Ceremony for BSC Hons students on 6th February 2008. The most awaited event, though arranged haphazardly, but still left a great positive impact for later degree awarding ceremonies. Both BCSS01 and BCSF01 batches were called for the rehearsal of Ceremony on 3rd February 2008. All students participated well and fully cooperated with the organizers.
The Nation newspaper outlined the event on 7th February 2008 in the following way:
Pakistan has a great potential in the field of computer sciences and information technology and the new graduates of PUCIT (Punjab University College of Information Technology) can contribute a lot in this regard.
India is earning Rs 10 billion annually from IT industry and Pakistan is also preparing a lot of professionals through public sector universities to compete with India in this field.
This was stated by Punjab Governor Lt-Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool while addressing the first-ever degree awarding ceremony of PUCIT held for BS Computer Science Spring 2001 and Fall 2001 graduates at Allama Iqbal Campus on Wednesday. PU Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, Dean Faculty of Science Prof Dr Jamil Anwar, PUCIT Principal Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar, Dr Naveed Malik, Prof Azhar Ikram, Prof Dr Mujahid Mansoori faculty members and chief executives of local software houses were also present on the occasion.
The governor said that Pakistan can come upto the standard of advanced countries with digital technology. He said Pakistan is making advancement in many fields especially in information technology and computer sciences. The Punjab government is building a technology park at a cost of Rs 3 billion. The industry needed dedicated and committed professionals and the government is providing all out support to public sector universities to take up this challenge.
He said the PU has started mega projects at a cost of Rs 4 billion which include PUCIT campus at New Campus at a cost of Rs 600 million and a cell of custom built. The government is also providing a sum of Rs 70.50 million for new academic block of PUCIT.
PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran in his address said the invention of digital technology, in particular the Internet, constitutes a revolution of the same magnitude as the invention of printing. The invention of printing enabled the thoughts of any one individual to be scattered across the globe. The Internet enables access to vast stores of human knowledge in a flash. This is pure magic. He said the PUCIT is the outgrowth of the department of computer science which was founded and established by Prof Dr Naveed A Malik who is also the founder Vice-Chancellor of the Virtual University.
Eulogising the services of Principal PUCIT, Dr Mansoor Sarwar, the Vice-Chancellor said that his supervision, the college witnessed academic peace and quality to this College. Dr Mansoor Sarwar has managed to rid this College of the restlessness and attendant decline in quality. The Principal is the proud Pakistani whose textbooks on UNIX and LINUX published in the US are recommended texts for over 200 US universities. All of his books have been translated into Spanish and Chinese.
The PUCIT has begun to expand its activities. Its projects have been approved recently by the government of Punjab and the Higher Education Commission. The funding to universities is a consequence of the perception that knowledge is the key to wealth and power and, above all, to a place of respect in the comity of nations. The PUCIT is a product of exceptional times. He advised the young graduates to work conscientiously and creatively, be open minded and tolerant, alert and active, forward-looking and cultivate the desire to make a mark on the world. Pakistan stands at cross-roads today – it must choose a tolerant and open world view or regress into strife ridden darkness, he added.
Principal Prof Dr Mansoor Sarwar said that the college has progressed considerably within a rather short span of time. From a modest start in 1988 as the Centre for Computer Science today PUCIT is the largest institution of higher learning in the country in the area of information technology, offering curricula that are in line with the guidelines of the HEC and international bodies like the IEEE and ACM.
He said we believe in producing well-rounded graduates, who are professionally competent and contributing members of the society. We provide a learning environment which inculcates technical soundness and motivates understanding of human and social issues, enabled by well-balanced curricula and co-curricular activities. Curricula of BS programmes have around 25percent content dedicated to Humanities and Social Sciences. During the past year and a half, the college has spent around Rs 1.5 million on student activities, including bi-lingual declamation contests, poetry recitation competitions, quiz competitions, programming and gaming contests, graduation dinners, comical skits, sketching competitions, tug-of-war, girls table tennis and badminton contests, participation in international activities and competitions, and student recreational trips. Due to student societies in the University, our campus hums with co-curricular student activities throughout the year.
The College has also progressed in many other ways, including hiring of qualified faculty, higher admission standards, up-gradation of IT infrastructure and tools, and uplifting of faculty offices and the college library. We have also started degree programs in BS Software Engineering, MS/MPhil Computer Science, and (regular) MSc GIS, and consolidated our masters degree programs into one MSc Information Technology programme. The College faculty has recently brought the first-ever research grant from the HEC worth Rs 2.63 million and Rs 11 million funds through the National JCT R&D fund are in the pipeline.
The Vice-Chancellor congratulated the new graduates and extended warmest felicitations to those who achieved distinction. He said that the graduating students must feel proud that they have joined the rank of all those who have graduated from this university in the past 125 years.
Earlier Chief Executives of Gen/Team, Umair Javed, Zartasha Uzmi of Confiz Solution and Wyne of Angro appreciated the quality of education in PUCIT. They urged for linkage of the college with industry and some hours of the students to be spent in software houses.
Besides the above speeches, Governor Khalid Maqbool awarded Gold Medals to position holders. Kiran and Sohaib were not present, so their relatives collected the Gold Medal, but I was lucky enough to receive it myself. We had lunch and group photos after the ceremony. Overall it was a great event. It would have been nice if everyone attended it.