Girls clearly outnumbered boys at the 60th annual convocation function at Panjab University (PU) here on Monday. Out of the 479 students who were awarded degrees, 351 were girls. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni was the chief guest at the convocation, while Punjab Governor and Chandigarh administrator Shivraj Patil presided over the function. “It is a big occasion and I congratulate all the students. We are demanding 33 percent reservation for women in parliament and in Vidhan Sabha, but seeing the good number of girls outshining boys here, I think that we should demand 50 percent reservation,” Soni said while addressing the gathering. Over 11,000 students, 70 percent of them girls, study in around 70 research and teaching departments of PU. Its campus is spread over 553 acres in Sectors 14 and 25 here. “I am very happy to see large number of female students getting degrees during this convocation. I have also seen the same trend in other universities where maximum number of gold medallists are always girls,” Patil said in his convocation address. “This is a big challenge for boys and they should take this in a sporting feeling and make up their minds to do well in the next exams,” he added. PU is also the alma mater and former workplace of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The university authorities had also planned to confer an honorary doctorate of law degree on former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, and award a doctorate of literature degree to noted author-journalist Khushwant Singh. But they could not make it to the convocation ceremony. “We would honour them later at a special convocation function to be held at the residence of Khushwant Singh in New Delhi,” PU vice-chancellor R.C. Sobti said
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