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LAHORE, April 27: Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi laid a foundation stone of Government College University’s new campus at Kala Shah Kaku on Saturday and announced a grant of Rs100 million for the initial infrastructural development of the 370-acres campus.

The new campus would help enhance varsity’s enrolment by 60,000.

Giving briefing to the caretaker chief minister about new campus’ master plan, GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khaleequr Rahman said, “It’s a historical year. We are laying a foundation stone of the new campus in the 150th year of the establishment of the Government College Lahore that produced thousands of legends for Pakistan”.

The VC said the university had plans to introduce cutting-edge technologies and modern disciplines that would meet the needs of the modern world in next 50 years.

He said the GCU new campus would have 11 academic blocks, hostels, modern library, high-tech laboratories, museum, mosque, watch towers, workshops, medical centre, cafeteria, open-air theatre, auditorium with a sitting capacity of 3,500, high school for staff children, daycare centre, shopping centre, students’ service centre and laboratories.

He said extensive sports facilities would also be established on the new campus, including cricket ground, football ground, tennis and badminton courts, hockey ground, swimming pool and gymnasium. He said that staff and faculty residences would also be built on the campus besides green houses and parks.

Prof Rahman said almost Rs4.79 billion funds were required for the complete development of the campus. However, he said, it would be opened for almost 8,000 students after the completion of Phase-I development.

“I hope the Higher Education Commission and federal and provincial governments would provide continuous support for the construction of the new campus,” he added.

Sethi said extremism, terrorism and lawlessness could only be curbed through promotion of education in the country.

He laid a stress that the investment in the education sector was highly beneficial and no amount of funds was too much to equip the youth with modern education.

He said the establishment of the new campus of the historical Government College University would play a vital role for the promotion of higher education in the country.

He said he had grown up and groomed at the GC Lahore by teachers of enormous integrity. “It is the GC where I was made liberal and progressive and I can never pay back the debt of my alma mater,” he said.

He called upon the VC and Old Ravians Union to initiate “Alumnus of the year award” for the eminent Old Ravians, who performed exceptionally well in various fields of life. He assured his Old Ravian fellows and students of his all-out efforts for holding free and fair elections in the province.

Adviser to CM and Old Ravian Zia Haider Rizvi, Punjab Higher Education secretary, faculty members, Old Ravians and students attended the foundation-laying ceremony.