LAHORE:December 28: The 9th convocation of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) was held here on Wednesday. Pro-Chancellor/Punjab Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Asif Saeed Manais chaired the convocation in which 1,256 graduates were conferred degrees and 67 position-holders awarded medals. Out of the graduating students, 252 were DVMs, 282 BS (Hons), 83 Pharm-D, 50 doctors of Nutrition and Dietetics (DND), 40 MBAs, 20 MBF, 36 BBA (Hons), 157 MSc, 311 MPhil and 25 PhDs. According to a press release issued here, the pro-chancellor congratulated the graduating students on getting degrees and medals and urged them to play their due role in nation building. He lauded the progress achieved by the UVAS and positioned itself among the 2.5pc top universities of Asia, the seven best universities of Pakistan in sports and top 10 universities of the country. He said the government is committed to ensuring quality education and raising education standard is its top priority. He listed various initiatives in livestock and education sectors for development. Over Rs 2 billion initiatives for poverty alleviation and Punjab Chief Minister’s Dairy Development Programme under “Kissan Package” of Rs 10 billion to provide heifers and sheep and goats to poor women are the two noteworthy initiatives, he said. Earlier, the pro-chancellor along with the vice-chancellor gave away degrees to PhD scholars and medals to the position-winning graduates. Presenting the welcome address, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha spoke about the academics, research, development, extension programmes and community services of the university. He said with a history of 135 years of excellence, the UVAS has now positioned itself among top 2.5pc Asian universities as per QS World Universities Rankings 2018. As per Higher Education Commission Sports Ranking 2017, UVAS got 4th position among public sector universities of Pakistan and 7th among all public and private universities of the country, the vice-chancellor said, adding the UVAS is also among top 10 universities of Pakistan according to HEC overall ranking of Pakistani Higher Education Institutions for the last two years. Prof Pasha said UVAS is swiftly achieving milestones of need-based multi-level education and establishing itself as talent development institution by using its knowledge, resources and skills for growth of human resources. He said this year UVAS also secured affiliation of Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The vice-chancellor informed the audience that UVAS scientists are executing 91 research projects worth of Rs 1,051 million won by the faculty members from national and international funding agencies. He said the university is executing 10 development projects of Rs 4.5 billion being funded by the Punjab government. Seven of them are ongoing and three new ones approved during current financial year. Ongoing projects include 1 Establishment of Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Bahawalpur, 2 Establishment of Training Centre for Biologics at UVAS, Ravi Campus Pattoki, 3 Development of Ostrich Farming in Punjab, 4 Propagation of Ducks Rearing in Punjab, 5 Development of Camel Milk Value Chain by adopting modern supply chain mechanism for enhancing farmers profitability in Punjab, 6 Establishment of Para-Veterinary School at Narowal and Provision of urgently needed academic block, students hostels and faculty apartments at UVAS City Campus Lahore. While the new development projects are 1 Establishment of Export Facilitation Center for livestock and poultry industry at UVAS, Lahore, 2 In service training facility of advance veterinary education and professional development for veterinary professionals and, 3 Acquisition of land for up-gradation of Para-Veterinary School, Narowal to College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Narowal. The vice-chancellor said that the UVAS is uniquely structured to provide wide-ranging services to the community including farmers, public and private stakeholders and the industry. The noteworthy services are diagnostics facilities, vaccine production, 24/7 clinical and extension services, consultancy and advisory services and policy framework, he said, adding that the university's outdoor facilities and teaching clinics handled over 20,000 cases during the year. He said that the Centre for Applied Policy Research in Livestock is generating innovative ideas from the laboratory and classroom into the public policy arena, encouraging economic growth, creating jobs, spurring investment, and increasing exports — delivering benefits for farmers and agricultural businesses across Pakistan. Given these facts, the UVAS is assuming a new role as an effective think-tank, the vice-chancellor concluded.The news.