KARACHI - Vice Chancellor Karachi University (KU), Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, has said that the KU has produced 1,240 PhDs so far since its inception and on the top among the other varsities of the country in this regard. However, 49 public and private universities have produced more than 5,665 PhDs in the country, while KU is on the top among them, he said, while giving an interview to The Nation last week. Dr. Pirzada pointed out that University of Punjab had awarded 1,266 PhD degrees since 1937, while the Karachi University produced 1,240 PhD scholars since 1957. This figure can help people to measure the standard and excellence of the largest institution (KU) of the country. The varsitys research and other academic activities are the real proof of its superiority over other educational institutions in Pakistan, he said. KU is trying to promote further research activities; the set-up of 17 research institutes/centres at the KU is the clear instance. Karachi University has produced about 600 MPhil, 300 PhD, 7 DSc and 7 DLit degrees only in science faculty that exceeds the number produced in any other university of the country. Our teachers are also involved in various research projects and contribute regularly to local and foreign publications. Only in 2006, the number of published research papers by the KU teaching and research faculty was 506. The creation of the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilisation at KU is another example of the varsitys stance to encourage research education at higher level. The institute is trying to explore the potential of indigenous halophytic plants by using brackish water and saline land. Dr. Pirzada further said the objective of the KU is to inculcate inquisitiveness in younger scientists to solve problems related to saline lands leading to poverty alleviation among farmers specifically through the use of halophytes. We want to prepare a team of scientists capable of conducting state of the art research in various aspects of halophyte biology. Conversely, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), at KU, which will be one of the finest academic research establishments of chemical sciences in the developing world. KU is the only institution in the country that has trained 120 German students during the last 10 years, he added. Dr Pirzada admitted that the Karachi University would face leadership crisis as the dynamic teachers were beyond the screen. Despite the fact that we always proudly mention the names of renowned educationists and scholars associated with this institution like Dr I H Qureshi, Dr Mahmud Hussain, Dr Salemuzzaman Siddiqui, Dr Afzal Hussain Qadri, Dr M M Ahmed, Dr Mujtaba Karim, Prof M Ilyas, Prof Q Fareed, Dr Ibadur Rehman Khan, Prof Muntakhibul Haq, Prof Memony, Dr S M Yousuf, Dr M A Wali and Dr Karawala. The faculty was drawn not only from Pakistan but also included eminent educationists form Europe and America.