Panjab University Alumni body gives away 67 scholarships 

BOLLYWOOD LYRICIST Irshad Kamil and noted Sufi singer Satinder Sartaaj gave away 67 scholarships to graduate and postgraduate toppers on the 15th edition of the scholarship award function organised by the Panjab University Alumni Association (PUAA) on Thursday.

Of these, 30 toppers were from PU’s affiliated colleges. The toppers were awarded scholarships of Rs 10,000 each along with a certificate of merit and trophy for academic excellence. They were also conferred honorary lifetime membership of PUAA at the cost of Rs 1,000 each from the alumni body’s own fund. Besides, 16 stipends were also given at the function.

Sartaaj, the international ambassador of PU, and Kamil, who has penned the PU anthem, are distinguished alumni of the university. Kamil expressed nostalgia on being at his alma mater and, in his address, said it was great to be back home. “This is a function of connectivity that gives opportunity to meet everyone and I express my gratitude to the university for making me what I am today,” said Kamil.

Born in Malerkotla in a Punjabi Muslim family, Kamil has penned songs for all of director Imtiaz Ali’s films, prominent ones being ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Highway’. He has also worked with eminent music composers such as A R Rahman, Amit Trivedi and Pritam. On May 2, he awarded 26 meritorious scholarships to outgoing MA students of the Department of Hindi at the varsity, two of which he presented in the memory of his mother Begum Iqbal.

Sartaaj, who felt at home, said, “Art and culture are a way to create a bond and harmony among individuals and recognise themselves.” He called PU his Mecca and urged youngsters to nourish and preserve cultural traditions for generations to come. He also expressed his happiness at the introduction of Shahmukhi course from the next session. It is the Perso-Arabic script widely used in Pakistan to write Punjabi.

Talking about the importance of the alumni association, Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover marked the 99 years of PU’s conception in Lahore and said, “The alumni connectivity with the old and the young is important to extend, examine and create a frontier of knowledge.” He added that the university will release a stamp to commemorate the centenary of the honours school system next year along with that of Prof R C Paul’s, who was the Vice-Chancellor for 10 years from 1974-84.

PU gets Instagram account

Kamil and Sartaaj also launched the official Instagram account of PU, @officialpu.india, along with Prof Grover, who said, “PU has taken another step into strengthening its online presence on the pattern of the ‘Digital India’ campaign.” The university now has presence on all the three major social networking platforms to communicate, update, interact and stay connected with the students, teachers, alumni and others, said Renuka B Salwan, director, public relations.

The varsity enjoys a following of over 2 lakh on Facebook and over 6,000 on Twitter, both verified accounts. Salwan added that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will be used as powerful tools for the university to connect with the tech-savvy generation.