HYDERABAD: The Sindh Agriculture University conferred academic degrees on 598 graduates at its 9th convocation in Tando Jam, Hyderabad, on Thursday.
Around 20 PhD scholars, 95 postgraduates and 482 graduates received degrees at the event. As many as 16 students were awarded with gold medals while 29 others received silver and bronze medals.
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Even though female students comprise just eight per cent of the total student population of the university, eight of the gold medalists were girls. "I am pleased to watch the graduates work in the agricultural fields with all their academic knowledge and research employed to improve the crop quality and output," said Sindh education minister Nisar Khuhro, who was the chief guest at the event.
Agriculture sector provides employment to around 70% of the workforce in the country, he remarked. Khuhro also offered to provide assistance to the varsity for conducting research on new crop varieties, seeds, economical use of water and increasing per acre crop yield.
The vice-chancellor of the varsity, Dr Mujeebuddin Sahrai, informed that more than 32,000 students have graduated from the varsity since it was established in 1977. Although, the figure of PhD scholars has remained comparatively lower at 97 but half of these degree have been given in last few years.
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According to him, the annual student intake stood around 1,500 undergraduates and 500 postgraduates. He also said that half of the 249 faculty members were PhD scholars, while 27 teachers are pursuing PhD studies in five countries and three in other Pakistani universities.
"The university is pursuing policies to enhance student enrolment, improve quality of degree programmes and, research and development programmes oriented towards specific agricultural problems and establish effective linkages with the stakeholders," he said. "We expect the graduates to contribute to boosting the agricultural productivity and uplift rural masses [engaged with the agricultural and animal husbandry sectors of economy]."
Sahri shared that 225 research articles including 125 published in foreign journals were contributed by the university's scholars in 2015. The gold medalists include Fauzia Memon and Nusrat Solangi of crop protection department, Navid Ahmed Abbassi and Falaknaz Soomro of crop production, Komal Arain and Shamshad Ahmed Rajpar of agricultural social sciences, Tabinda Shah and Muhammad Tayyab of agricultural engineering, Iqra Chandio and Asad Ali Khaskheli of animal husbandry.
Others including Riaz Hussain Marri and Hafizullah Soomro of food sciences and technology, Shazia Memon and Muhammad Asim of information technology centre and, Jamila Jamro and Jawad Ahmed Abbassi of Shaheez Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Agriculture College, Dokri.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2016.
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