Part-two: Eagles Soaring Amidst the Majestic Peaks

In my previous exploration published on September 19, 2023, we embarked on a journey through the inspiring landscapes of the Valley of Kashmir, where the youth soared like eagles amidst their dreams’ majestic peaks. We witnessed their relentless pursuit of excellence, their determination to overcome challenges, and their commitment to achieving their aspirations.

Today, we seamlessly transition from our exploration of the indomitable spirit of the valley’s youth to celebrate academic brilliance and accomplishment at the 20th Convocation Ceremony of the University of Kashmir. This transition echoes the essence of our previous journey—from darkness to light, from dreams to realities.

   

In this write-up, let’s uncover the stories of remarkable young minds who, like the graduates of the University of Kashmir, have climbed their academic mountains.

As we celebrate their achievements on October 11, 2023, at the 20th Convocation Ceremony, we find inspiration in their determination, resilience, and the heights they have reached. Join me in this continued exploration of the triumph of dreams and realities, where we witness firsthand how the youth of the Valley are not just dreamers but also achievers, embracing excellence with open arms.

In the embrace of nature, where Dal Lake mirrors the sky and Dargah Hazratbal symbolizes spiritual devotion, we gather under the watchful gaze of the Zabarwan Mountains. This is where the Convocation hall of the University of Kashmir comes alive with pride and accomplishment. Allama Iqbal’s words, “Zara nam ho to ye mitti bohat zarkhaiz hai saqi,” resonate through the air, reminding us of the rich potential within this fertile land.

Every ripple on Dal Lake, every rustle of leaves in the Zabarwan Range, and every prayer at Dargah Hazratbal tell a story of kashmir’s rich history and dreams. Kashmir, with its natural beauty and spirituality, has always been a place of strength and creativity.

Allama Iqbal’s words guide us to discover our potential, much like the fertile soil waiting for rain to yield a rich harvest. This land shows that challenges can lead to greatness, and small beginnings can result in significant achievements.

Allama Iqbal’s words remind us that every achievement reveals hidden potential, waiting to be discovered. We stand on the brink of greatness, much like the mountains around us reach for the sky.

The University of Kashmir, with its multi-campus presence, diverse faculties, and a 76-year legacy, has evolved into an institution of eminence. Its consistent ranking among the top institutions in the country, exemplified by the NAAC A+ grade, 33rd rank in the NIRF Ranking, and 56th rank in QS BRICS, underscores its commitment to academic excellence. The Convocation Ceremony itself is a testament to the dedication of students, faculty members, and administration.

The ceremony is all set to witness the conferring of hundreds of gold medals, over fifty thousand undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and over 1200 MD/MS and PhD/MPhil degrees, reflecting the relentless pursuit of knowledge and excellence by our scholars and students.

Over the years, female students have consistently excelled in various fields, including extracurricular activities and academics, surpassing their male counterparts. In the previous convocation ceremony of the University of Kashmir held in 2021, a higher percentage of female students received gold medals, and a significant majority of candidates in the degree category were young women.

It is highly likely that today we will witness a similar trend, with a greater percentage of female students being honored with gold medals, cash prizes, and degrees. Our university’s commitment to advancing women’s education and empowerment remains resolute and relentless.

However, it’s important to note that we also hold high hopes for our young male students. We anticipate that they will excel in diverse fields, including academics and others.

They, too, should take inspiration from Allama Iqbal’s words, “Zara nam ho to ye mitti bohat zarkhaiz hai saqi,” and strive to excel and attain top positions in various domains, whether it be in the domain of knowledge or other professions.

Our belief in their potential is steadfast, and we look forward to witnessing their remarkable achievements alongside their female counterparts.

Throughout my interactions with millions of students from across the country, particularly during various competitive activities organized by the Association of Indian Universities at different universities nationwide, I have consistently observed a remarkable trend.

Female students, with their enthusiasm and relentless dedication, have consistently outshone their male counterparts, securing top positions in a wide array of domains.

Whether it be in literary and artistic pursuits, music, theatre, or academics, female students have displayed exemplary commitment and achieved remarkable success. This pattern not only reflects their individual talents but also underscores their collective strength in diverse fields, setting inspiring benchmarks for excellence.

The University of Kashmir has made remarkable progress in the field of research, emerging as a shining example of excellence in academic inquiry. Its substantial contributions to globally recognized databases like Scopus and Web of Science speak volumes about the quality and depth of its research endeavors.

The researchers and scholars have started a journey of exploration and discovery, exploring diverse fields of knowledge and innovation. Through their dedication and rigorous work, they have not only added to the body of academic literature but have also left an indelible mark on the global stage.

One of the most compelling indicators of their impact is the substantial number of citations their work has garnered. These citations, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, signify that the research conducted at the University of Kashmir has not remained confined within the walls of academia but has resonated far and wide, influencing and inspiring others in their respective fields.

Furthermore, the university’s h-index in Scopus stands at an impressive 72. This metric, which measures the influence and significance of research, reflects a remarkable achievement.

A high h-index indicates that the university’s research output has not only been prolific but has also made a substantial impact in various academic disciplines.

This remarkable journey in the domain of academic inquiry serves as an inspiration to all of us. It reminds us of the boundless potential that lies within the pursuit of knowledge and discovery.

The university’s dedication to research excellence encourages us all to continue pushing the boundaries of what we know and to explore new horizons of understanding.

As we celebrate this remarkable achievement, let it be a source of motivation for all researchers and scholars, both within and beyond the university’s walls.

It exemplifies the power of curiosity, determination, and the determined pursuit of knowledge. In this spirit, may we all contribute to the ever-expanding canvas of human understanding, leaving a legacy of enlightenment and progress for generations to come.

Amidst the jubilation of these remarkable accomplishments, let us wholeheartedly acknowledge that the Convocation is not solely a culmination of academic pursuits; it is, in fact, a resplendent launching pad for the boundless future that awaits.

These diplomas and degrees, glittering with the essence of hard-earned knowledge, do not merely represent qualifications; they bear the weight of a sacred responsibility.

This responsibility, dear graduates, is not to be taken lightly but to be embraced with fervor and conviction. It is a call to carry forward the torch of excellence, to tread the path of enlightenment, and to lead with the steadfast spirit of a scholar.

As you step into the world beyond these hallowed halls, remember that your education is not an end in itself but a means to a grander purpose. In your hands, you hold the keys to unlocking the door of innovation, progress, and transformation. Your journey has equipped you with the tools to shape a future that knows no bounds. With each diploma, you inherit the legacy of those who came before you, a legacy built on dedication, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of knowledge.

As you move on this new chapter of your life, do not view it as a mere transition; instead, see it as a grand expedition. It is a voyage where you are both the captain and the navigator, charting the course towards new horizons. Embrace challenges as opportunities, and setbacks as stepping stones, for it is in overcoming these that you will etch your own narrative of success.

Each of you is a torch-bearer of hope, a harbinger of change, and a custodian of progress. Your actions, your ideas, and your endeavors have the potential to reshape industries, elevate communities, and inspire generations yet to come.  In this journey, remember the words of Allama Iqbal, “Zara nam ho to ye mitti bohat zarkhaiz hai saqi.”

Let every endeavor you undertake be infused with passion and purpose. Be the droplet that nourishes the fertile soil of your ambitions, watching them sprout into magnificent realities. As you rise to meet your aspirations, never forget the power of dedication, the strength of resilience, and the significance of humility.

So, let these degrees serve as not just symbols of academic achievement but as emblems of your commitment to building a brighter future. Your education has bestowed upon you the capability to make a difference, to leave an indelible mark, and to become a source of inspiration for a world that yearns for progress.

You are the custodians of a legacy, the architects of change, and the champions of tomorrow. Step into this boundless future with heads held high, hearts full of passion, and the belief that you can indeed make a difference. Congratulations on your achievements, and may your journey ahead be a resplendent odyssey of discovery, accomplishment, and enduring excellence.

The Convocation Ceremony stands as a testament to the triumph of dreams and realities. It is a ray of hope for the youth of the valley, a reminder that their potential is boundless.

As they step into the world beyond, may they carry the values instilled in them by their alma mater, aiming not only for personal success but also to uplift the Valley and contribute to the progress of humanity. The youth, much like the soaring eagles amidst its majestic peaks, have the ability to touch the skies.

Their journey from darkness to light is a tribute to their resilience and a testament to the power of education. As they embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, may they continue to make us proud, for their success is our collective achievement.

Shahid Ali Khan is an academician and economist who currently holds the position of Youth Welfare & Cultural Officer at the University of Kashmir.

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