The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) Monday signed an accord with the Government College University, Lahore to promote satellite technology and involve the university students in developing indigenous designs and units for the Pakistan National Student Satellite (PNSS). Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman and SUPARCO Chairman Major General (r) Ahmed Bilal signed the memorandum of understanding at a graceful meeting at the GCU Meeting Room. As per the seven-point accord, GCU and SUPARCO will collaborate for designing and development of Power Control Unit, Power Distribution Unit, Battery Unit and Solar Panel Unit of PNSS, for which the commission will also provide adequate financial resources and technical assistance.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman and SUPARCO Chairman Major General (r) Ahmed Bilal shake hands after signing an accord

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-ur-Rahman and SUPARCO Chairman Major General (r) Ahmed Bilal shake hands after signing an accord

Speaking on the occasion, Maj Gen (r) Ahmed Bilal said that SUPACRO would also hold special tutoring sessions to enhance the capacity of the university students and faculty members to undertake the satellite projects in the future with more independence. He hoped that GCU students would take a lead and play a key role in developing the country’s first national student satellite.

The SUPARCO chairman said the developed countries were holding symposiums on ‘entrepreneurship in space’, so Pakistan had to work hard in the field of space technology for next eight to ten years to come at par with the other Asian countries like China and India. He also said that “If we wish excel in space science, our universities will have to work as incubators for inventions and innovations.” He also asked the university’s scientists to design research projects that needed zero gravity environment. He said that there would be a lot funding at the international level for such projects in the near future. Maj Gen (r) Ahmed Bilal pledged that SUPARCO would also work for the collaboration of GCU engineering, geography, computer sciences and chemistry department with Chinese and Malaysian universities which were undertaking research projects in the filed space science. Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof. Rahman briefed the SUPARCO chairman and technical team about the various projects which were successfully completed by the university students and faculty members in the last couple of years. He proudly told the SUPARCO that GCU Chemistry Department had more than seven US patents to their credits in the recent years.

The Vice Chancellor on the recommendation of SUPARCO chairman announced forming the Astronomy Society at the university level to create the interest of GCU students in space sciences.  Besides the technical support, SUPARCO will also provide a telescope and other basic equipment for the GCU Astronomy Society. SUPRACO Deputy Chief Manager Shakeel Zahid, GCU Dean Prof. Dr. Islam Ullah Khan, Professor Rafi Chair  Dr. Muhammad Zakria Butt, Director Academic Planning and External Links Ms Fauzia Shaheen, Dr Muhammad Saleem, Dr Junaid Zafar and Dr. Ali Iqtidar Mirza also attended the accord signing ceremony. Later, GCU Vice Chancellor presented souvenirs to the SUPRACO delegation.

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