The Government College University Lahore, the oldest seat of higher learning in Pakistan, Wednesday (today) turned 150-year-old. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman announced the 2014 a year of grand celebrations for all Ravians and Old Ravians at the international level, saying that the university and Old Ravians Union had planned several literary, co-curricular and social events to mark the sesquicentennial year celebrations that will begin from today at a grand ceremony at the GCU Oval Ground.
Talking about the history of GCU, the Vice Chancellor said that it opened its eyes as Government College, Lahore in the Haveli (palace) of Dhian Singh in the Walled City on January 1, 1864. The present gothic-style majestic building of the GC University Lahore was completed in 1877 on 3700 square feet in the north of Soldiers Garden (Gol Bagh) with a cost of Rs.320,000.
The College was initially affiliated with the Calcutta University as there was no university in this part of the sub-continent at that time. The Government College, Lahore was raised to the status of University in 2002 and was renamed as the GC University Lahore. From first principle Dr. G.W Lietner to second Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman, as many as 27 heads have served this great institution.
Talking to media, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman said that the academic travel which was started in 1864 with just nine students and three teachers produced hundreds of literary figures, politicians, two Nobel Laureates, four prime ministers, jurists, sportsmen and scientists. He said the college was established on the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford and it is available in historical records that it was decided that all students of this college would be given 10 to 15 rupees scholarship annually. In the first year, the fee of the college was Rs2 annually, which was deducted from the scholarships of the student. Keeping in view this very historical perspective of this educational institution, he has slashed the students’ fee by almost 35 percent, which have not been increased for the last three years. He also announces more scholarships for the students.
He proudly said that Poet of East Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, N.M Rashid, Patras Bukhari, Ashfaq Ahmad, Bano Qudsia; only Pakistani Nobel Laureate Prof Dr Abdus Salam, former chief justice M. R. Kyani, former chief justice Naseem Hassan Shah, Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, Justice (r) Khalil-ur-Rahman Ramday and Justice (r) Khawja Muhammad Sharif are Old Ravains. He said that tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq, cricketers Amir Sohail, Ramiz Raja, Inzmam-ul-Haq and Salim Malik are also Old Ravains.
The GC University Lahore also produced four prime-ministers including Yousaf Raza Gillani, Nawaz Sharif and Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali besides hundreds of political leaders including Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. If you come to performing arts, noted Indian actor Dev Anand, Rafi Peer, Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ali Zafar, Hadiqa Kyani and Jawad Ahmad also studied from Government College Lahore. The Vice Chancellor said that it needed a whole day to name all the prominent old students of this great institution.