Government College University (Lahore)

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Government College University (Lahore)
GC University,Logo.png
Former names
Government College (GC)
MottoEducating People for tomorrow
Courage to Know
Established1864 (1864)
ChancellorGovernor of Punjab
Vice ChancellorProf. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, SI
Academic staff
Location, ,
ColoursBlue, goldrod, maroon            
NicknameGCU Lahore
AffiliationsHigher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC),
Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC)

The Government College University (GCU) is a public research university located near the Civil Secretariat, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.[2] Its alumni network includes two Nobel laureates Abdus Salam and Har Gobind Khorana,[3] as well as philosopher Muhammad Iqbal, World Court President Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, four prime ministers of Pakistan and several Rhodes Scholars.[4]

It is one of the oldest colleges in Pakistan as well as one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the Muslim world.[5] It was founded in 1864 as an affiliate college of Calcutta University under the leadership of Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner,[6] 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 the Government of Pakistan ; the word college is retained in its title for preserving its historical roots.

GCU 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, post-graduate, and doctoral studies with an emphasis on science and arts Its departments of physics and mathematics has international prestige.[7][8] GCU has four faculties, 29 academic departments and four research institutes.[9]

The GCU secured its second place in the medium category by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) in 2013.[10] GCU has the highest graduation rate in the country, with an average of 95.5% annually.[11] Alumni of the GCU 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.[12] The GCU is noted for its historical roots and attracted notable scholars such as Leitner, Abdus Salam and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal to studied and became alumnus of the GCU.[13]

GCU tower


Government College, Lahore in the 1880s

Under the British Raj Government College was opened 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 in 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 departments[edit]

The university consists of the following faculties, centres 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.
  • Faculty of Engineering: B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering a four-year degree programme and also offers MS Electrical Engineering a two-year degree programme.
  • 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.
  • 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 Physics[edit]

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 GCU. 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 GCU 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".[14]

The institute has academic programmes that promote research activity in physics. Some of its achievements include: getting 52 research publications in international journals;.[15] 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),[16] Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF)[17] and Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR).[15]

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.[18] The school was established in 2003 by the Government of Punjab under the aegis of Government College University.[19]

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.[18]

At 2011, ASSMS was labeled as the first "Emerging Regional Centre of Excellence" by the European Mathematical Society.[20]

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-Technology[edit]

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 Studies[edit]

Faculty of Science & Technology[edit]

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences[edit]

Faculty of Languages, Islamic & Oriental Learning[edit]

Faculty of Engineering[edit]


GCU 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 alumni[edit]

Others associated with the college[edit]

  • Ashfaq Ahmed Intellectual, Playwright and Broadcaster
  • Ishfaq Ahmad, IEEE Fellow and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Texas at Arlington
  • Ali Ahmad Awan - Motivational Speaker and Youngest Social Media Activist
  • Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum – 20th-century poet of Urdu, Punjabi and Persian
  • Prof Dr Saadat Saeed – poet and writer
  • Dr Shuja H. Zaidi – President & CEO, Chem-Energy Corporation. Los Angeles. California. USA
  • Rameez Raja (cricket player)
  • Abdul Qadir (cricket player)
  • Tariq Jameel - Religious and Islamic Scholar of Modern Era
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi - Islamic Modernist Scholar
  • Javed Ashraf economist, academician and Vice Chancellor of Quaid-e-Azam University


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

External links[edit]