LAHORE :05 July: Government College University (GCU) on Wednesday conferred PhD degrees on two immensely determined female students, Aziza Saeed and Kausar Inyat, who despite facing physical challenges completed their research on very novel topics in Urdu Literature. Aziza Saeed is the first visually-impaired student to receive PhD degree from GCU Lahore, while Kausar Inyat has been suffering from brain tumour. Eminent physicist Dr G Murtaza, Professor of Salam Chair at GCU, was chief guest at the opening session of the university’s 16th convocation where he along with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah awarded the degrees to graduating students. Besides medals and rolls and honour, a total of 2,349 degrees would be awarded this year at university’s two-day convocation, which includes 85 PhD's, 707 MS/MPhil’s, 322 MA/MSc and 1,235 BA/BSc (Hons.) In his convocation address, Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah raised his voice for the autonomy of universities in the country, saying the proverbial “red tape” impeded their smooth functioning at every stage. Prof Shah said it had become increasingly difficult for the common man to afford quality education. “GCU, therefore, this year granted scholarships worth Rs 62 million to the deserving students from its own budget and Endowment Fund,” he added. While congratulating the graduating students, Prof Shah told them that they must bridge the gap between their ideals and the cruel realities of life. “Your success lies in the measure of patience and determination that you may muster up,” he concluded. Prof G Murtaza asked the students to never forget the contributions of their parents in their life, saying that “your parents comprise a lot so that you can be successful.” Talking to the media, Dr Aziza Saeed said she had never allowed her physical inability to challenge her mental capabilities, adding studying Urdu Literature was the most challenging task for the blind students as books in this discipline were literally not available in digital format for audio listening. “PhD demands massive reading of literature and I used to pay students and other people to record books for me,” said Dr Saeed said while demanding the government to set up a special digital library of Urdu Literature in the country for visually-impaired students. She credited her parents and teachers for the PhD degree. Kausar Inyat said she had done a big part of her research work on patient bed in hospitals but didn’t let this brain tumour impeded her dreams. She requested the government to support her treatment. Earlier, the VC at the first session also presented “Prof GD Sondhi Medal” for overall excellent performance to Maryam Ijaz, “Mohammad Idrees Medal” for Best Debater to Muhammad Abdullah, “Daud Ilyas Medal” for outstanding intermediate student to Muhammad Faizan, “Dr Saida Karamat Medal” for Best Woman Graduate to Hafiza Qurat-Ul-Ain Fatimah, “Waleed Iqbal Medal” for Best English Parliamentary Speaker to Mohiba Ahmad, while “Thespian Medal” for excellent performance in Dramatics was conferred upon Mariam Hassan Naqvi. Naqeeb Ahmed Khan, a driver in government department, broke into tears while receiving the co-curricular medal and degree of his son who has recently got commissioned in Pakistan Army. He expressed gratitude to all the teachers of his son. Dr Muhammad Amjad Saqib, the executive director of Akhuwat, graced the second session of convocation. The university would honour its position holders for the BA/BSc (Honours) programmes on Thursday (today) at the third session of the convocation.The news.