KARACHI - The Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) organised its 20th convocation here on Sunday.

A large number of educationists, scholars, dignitaries, faculty members and students attended the ceremony. On this occasion, at least 1,000 degrees were distributed to pass outs of BS and MS programmes. Position holders were conferred gold, silver and bronze medals.

Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan called upon the graduating engineers in various fields to equip themselves with the latest knowledge of science and technology and serve the country. "They should not limit themselves to just bachelor’s degree; they should go for master's and PhD degrees to meet the present day challenges,” he said.

When India acquired the nuclear technology and became a nuclear power with the sole objective to establish its hegemony in the region, the nuclear scientist recalled that he came up with a proposal to make Pakistan a nuclear power and it was approved immediately. He said that he achieved his target within six years and made Pakistan an atomic power.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan expressed the hope that engineers would serve the cause of the country. He said that engineers should devote themselves to the cause and interest of the country regardless of the political developments in the country. "This is our country and we have to work for the glory of our motherland," the scientist said.

Addressing the convocation, Jawaid Anwar, chancellor of the SSUET, said that this was an era of knowledge-based economy in which small countries like Singapore and Korea had excelled to become developed countries. "If you see for yourself, you will observe that access to, and use of modern technological education is the key to social development and evolution of human civilisation," he said. He said that SSUET held a prominent place in the academic sector due to its high standard of education and the training it imparted to its students. Its graduates hold leading positions in many national and international organisations, where they are proving their mettle. Our graduates are fully equipped to take on the challenges of the present era and future.

Chancellor Jawaid Anwar said the concept of social reforms of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was based on acquisition of modern scientific education. The key ingredients of this concept were proper upbringing, character building and tolerance. The Aligarh Muslim University proved to be the laboratory where these concepts were experimented and it produced students who possessed the above traits. Creation of Pakistan is the outcome of these experiments, he said.

In his address, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Syed Jawaid H Rizvi said that dissemination of knowledge, skills and expertise through quality education in the areas of science, engineering and technology had been the focus of the Sir Syed University since its inception. He said the Sir Syed University believed that technology played a vital role in the development and progress of Pakistan and all modern development taking place these days was the direct outcome of the technical advancement. The university believes that the economic future of Pakistan is in the hands of engineers and technology experts, he said.

The convocation proceedings were conducted by the SSUET registrar.