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February 21, 2019

Call to set up Punjabi University in Lahore


February 21, 2019

LAHORE: World Punjabi Congress Chairman Fakhar Zaman has urged the government to establish first ever Punjabi University in Lahore. He suggested that Punjab Institute of Language, Art, & Culture (PILAC) should be upgraded to a university. He said Punjabi should be declared as medium of instruction at primary level.

Zaman was speaking at Punjabi Department of Govt College University on importance of Punjabi language. He said purist approach towards Punjabi language and tendency to use archaic and unfamiliar words should be discouraged. He said Punjabi is confronting resistance mainly at the middle and upper middle class of society, who do not understand the out-dated terminologies.

He exhorted the students to use words in consonance with the cyber age and globalisation. He said Unesco report that Punjabi will be extinct in thirty years is totally based on assumptions because the language of Sufis can never become extinct but everybody has to evolve a lingo which is easily understandable both in cities and villages.

The organisation phenomenon and impact of people going abroad has a palpable effect on the Punjabi language. Some terms like "Charkha" and "Peeng - Swing" are not in use but they will remain as the metaphor in literature.

Fakhar Zaman told the audience that World Punjabi Congress, which was established in 1986, has internationalised Punjabi language and culture. WPC has held 25 international conferences in Pakistan, India, UK, Holland, France, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Italy, Canada and USA. The recently held International Conference on Peace and Punjabi was extremely successful which was attended by a big Indian delegation and delegates from Canada, USA, Holland and UK.

He said WPC will hold a mega conference in February next year and it is anticipated that by then the Punjabi University will start functioning.

Professor Saeed Bhutta, Head of the Punjabi Department, gave introduction of subject and said students in Punjabi Department are working on Masters degree, MPhil and PhD. He told Zaman that Sufi poets are being taught at various levels. Answering Fakhar Zaman's demand that Indian writers Amrita Pritam, Mohen Singh and Shiv Kumar Batalwi should also be taught in future, he said he will include these writers in the curriculum soon.

Global body: Clarivate Analytics, a global leader in providing global university rankings, journal impact factors and analytics is coming to Pakistan for the first time. The foreign delegate shall interact with more than 100 national universities and journals in the ‘Web of Science’ conference on March 11 at Punjab University.

Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology Director Prof Dr Tayyab Husnain said the conference would focus on materialising the country's ambitious goals for increasing research & innovation, better international ranking of Pakistani universities & journals and expanding knowledge-based economy. He said experts from Clarivate would demonstrate best practices for Pakistani higher education universities, journals and research organisations to attain better international ranking and transform research ecosystem of the country. He said this visit was important in light of the fact that only 7 Pakistani universities were currently among top 1,000 world universities, while scientists from Pakistan were being ranked number one in 2018 according to ‘Web of Science’.

He said it was the right time for Pakistani universities to channelise their efforts, break shackles of isolation and follow practices that were in place for solid international ranking. He said this endeavor had huge potential to catalyse a boost in international ranking of Pakistani universities, materialising goal of developing knowledge-based economy of the country, internationalisation of the country’s research, development programmes for foreign investment and multilateral research initiatives, attracting foreign students, bringing in educational tourism & increasing Pakistan’s share in global higher education market.

workshop: Punjab University’s Hailey College of Banking and Finance has organised a two-day workshop to make the participants aware of the prerequisites to be fulfilled in order to develop research articles of international standards and their publication. The sessions were conducted by Dr Zubair Ali Shahid, assistant professor at Iqra University, Karachi and Dr Irfan Tariq, lecturer at The University Adelaide, Australia.

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