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Government College University (Lahore)

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The Government College University (colloquially known as GCU or GC University) is a public university located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.[2]

Government College University
GC University,Logo.png
Former names
Government College (GC)
MottoEducating People for tomorrow
Courage to Know
Established1861 (1861)
ChancellorGovernor of the Punjab
Vice ChancellorProf. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, SI
Academic staff
Location, ,
Coordinates: 31°34′24″N 74°18′28″E / 31.5732°N 74.3079°E / 31.5732; 74.3079
ColoursRoyal Blue, goldenrod, maroon            
AffiliationsHigher Education Commission (Pakistan)
Pakistan Engineering Council
Pakistan Bar Council



Government College University is one of the oldest colleges in Pakistan as well as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the Muslim world.[3] It was founded in 1861 when it was "briefly affiliated"[4] by Brahma University till 1864 from when it was an affiliated college of Calcutta University under the leadership of Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner,[5] a professor at King's College London. In 1882, it was affiliated with the University of the Punjab. In 2002, it was granted university status by Government of the Punjab ; the word college is retained in its title for preserving its historical roots.

The institute has grown into one of the largest universities in Lahore with 10,808 students and 376 faculty members with 103 PhDs amongst them offering undergraduate and post-graduate studies with an emphasis on science and arts. Its departments physics and mathematics has international prestige.[6][7] It has four faculties, 29 academic departments and four research institutes.[8]

The university secured its second place in the medium category by the Higher Education Commission (Pakistan) (HEC) in 2013.[9] It has the highest graduation rate in the country, with an average of 95.5% annually.[10] Alumni of the institute are called Ravians which is derived word from the name of the student magazine "Ravi", published by the administration of the college; the magazine name is inspired by the Ravi River.[11] The GCU is noted for its historical roots and attracted notable scholars such as Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner, Abdus Salam and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal to studied and became alumnus of the institute.[12]

Government College, Lahore in the 1880s
GCU's Iconic tower


Government College was opened under the British Raj on 1 January 1864 in part of the Palace of Raja Dhyan Singh Haveli. The institution was affiliated with the University of Calcutta for examination. Along with the establishment of the college, Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner (professor of Arabic and Islamic Law at King's College London was nominated as principal of college. Later, he was instrumental in founding University of the Punjab, established in 1882. The first class consisted of nine students, all of whom matriculated from the University of Calcutta. In April 1871, the college moved to its present site. Eric C. Dickinson became its Principal. He taught English at the Aligarh Muslim University.

In 1996, it received autonomous status; on 9 September 2002, it became a university.


The torch, as the crest of the university emblem, represents the light of knowledge. The motto "Courage to Know" represents the guiding principle of the student community.

Academic departmentsEdit

The university consists of the following faculties, centers and teaching departments:

  • Centers Chairs
  • Center for Advanced Studies in Physics (CASP)
  • High Tension Laboratory (now CASP) – established in 1954 by Dr. Rafi Muhammad Chaudhry to carry out research in Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
  • Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences (ASSMS)
  • Faculty of Engineering: Currently, only offering Electrical Engineering programmes at undergraduate and graduate level.
  • National Center of Mathematics – The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has established the National Centre for Mathematics (NCM) at the GC University, Lahore for the advancement of Mathematical Sciences in Pakistan and to develop indigenous human resources and research capability in the field of Mathematics.
  • Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (IIB) – established in April 2005 under Prof Ikram-ul-Haq.
  • Sustainable Development Study Centre (SDSC)
  • Centre of Excellence of China Studies
  • Human Resource Development Center (H.R.D.C) – The center has arranged in service teachers training programmes for the GCU faculty on academic and administrative topics.

Abdus Salam Chair in PhysicsEdit

Government College of Lahore's most prominent alumnus Dr. Abdus Salam who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Salam received his BA and MA from the college before moving to Cambridge. He returned to teach at Government College where he taught mathematics, he later moved to Imperial College.

The Abdus Salam Chair in Physics, named after the Pakistani theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, is a physics research institute of the university. The institute became operational in March 2000 with the efforts of Ishfaq Ahmad, a lifelong friend of Salam. In 2009, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) donated Salam's original Nobel certificate to the Salam Chair in Physics. The former director of ICTP Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan visited Pakistan where he had gifted the original Nobel certificate to the institute's alma mater. The certificate reads: "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter-alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current".[13]

The institute has academic programs that promote research activity in physics. Some of its achievements include: getting 52 research publications in international journals;.[14] producing 6 PhD and 25 M.Phil theses; the setting up of a Plasma Technology Lab; and contracting research grants from funding agencies and research centres such as the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL),[15] Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF)[16] and Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR).[14]

Abdus Salam School for Mathematical Sciences (ASSMS)Edit

The Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences (ASSMS) is one of the largest mathematical research institutes in Pakistan.[17] The school was established in 2003 by the Government of Punjab under the aegis of Government College University.[18]

The aim of the school is to train professional scientists to pursue the study of scientific and technological problems by mathematical methods and to undertake research in branches of mathematical sciences. Before the existence of ASSMS, Pakistani mathematicians opted to study abroad for postdoctoral fellowships, however an increasing number of PhD holders from foreign institutions are choosing ASSMS to pursue their postdoctoral fellowships.[17]

At 2011, ASSMS was labeled as the first "Emerging Regional Centre of Excellence" by the European Mathematical Society.[19]

ASSMS has taken steps to provide encouragement to Pakistani students in schools and colleges. These include:

  • The faculty at the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences host training camps for students from schools and colleges. The participants of the camps are prepared for the national team of Pakistan to compete at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). In 2005, the national team of Pakistan took part for the first time in IMO. In 2007 Pakistan won the first medal at IMO and the first silver medal in 2012.
  • ASSMS has organised mathematics contests at the national level.

Institute of Industrial Bio-TechnologyEdit

The Institute of Industrial Biotechnology was established in April 2005. Prof Ikram-ul-Haq is the first head of the institute. The Vice Chancellor has consented to launch B.Sc., M.Sc and M. Phil classes in Biotechnology and constitute a separate Board of Studies for the institute.

Intermediate StudiesEdit

  • Foundation of Arts (commonly known as F.A)
  • Foundation of Science (commonly known as F.Sc)

Faculty of Science and TechnologyEdit

Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesEdit

Faculty of Languages, Islamic and Oriental LearningEdit

Faculty of EngineeringEdit


The university has four hostels, three for boys and one for girls. Iqbal Hostel (built in 1891) and Quaid-e-Azam Hostel (built in 1993) accommodate about 150 and 200 intermediate students respectively. New Hostel (built in 1937) houses about 400 male Degree students. Girls Hostel (built in 1975) accommodates about 50 girl students.

Notable alumniEdit



  1. ^ a b "About GCU". Government College University, Lahore. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  2. ^ Google Maps. "Google maps of GCU". Google Maps. Google Maps. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  3. ^ GCU Press. "About GCU". Government College University. Government College University. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Delhi and Punjab: essays in history and historiography" (1995) N.Singh
  5. ^ VC recalls famous alumni as GCU turns 150 Archived 13 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Physics in GCU". Physics in GCU. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Mathematics in GCU". Mathematics in GCU. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  8. ^ "GCU academic departments". Government College University, Lahore. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  9. ^ "HEC rankings". Higher Education Commission, Pakistan. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Graduation at GCU". Graduation at GCU. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  11. ^ GCU. "Old Ravian Union". Old Ravian Union. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  12. ^ "About GCU".
  13. ^ GCU houses Dr. Abdus Salam’s Nobel prize Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Research Fellowships Awarded". Government College University, Lahore. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Research Grants Awarded". Government College University, Lahore. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  17. ^ a b "A Report on ASSMS" (PDF). Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences, Lahore. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  18. ^ "About the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences". Government College University, Lahore. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Emerging Regional Centre of Excellence". European Mathematical Society. Retrieved 18 August 2015.

External linksEdit