The Government College University Lahore has initiated a research competition on the theme of “Challenges and Opportunities in the COVID-19 World”, and cash prizes would be awarded to the best three theses.
The undergraduate students of eight academic departments would research on the theme from the perspective of their discipline.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi said “it is our prime responsibility to produce research that creates an impact beyond academia, and that can change the experiences of our society. We cannot afford to churn out research that is irrelevant to our present-day needs.”
The Vice-Chancellor said that they see a huge gap between academia, state and industry, adding that in the Western world, funding agencies and Universities always encourage graduate applications and research which have the potential to help the governing institutions and industries to improve the quality of life.”
While explaining the benefits of this initiative for students and society, Prof Zaidi said: “by encouraging our students to write on such themes, we will prepare them for new opportunities of scholarships at the topmost institutions and industries. At the same time, we will be producing a body of knowledge which will be used by policymakers, state officials and even general public to understand the impact of the pandemic and take concrete steps to make human life better”.
Prof. Zaidi further explained that students of the Economics Department would research the impact of COVID19 on Pakistan’s economy, and literature students would analyse literature produced during the pandemic, while GCU’s psychologists would look at the impact of COVID-19 on the mental and physical health of people.“History students will write on pandemic from the historical point of view. GCU’s environmentalists will highlight the role of environmental studies for reducing the impact of pandemic, and geographers will study the spatio-temporal patterns of Covid-19,” the Vice-chancellor concluded.