By M J Warsi
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) established in 1877 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, which became university in 1920. AMU is one of the most prominent residential universities in the subcontinent and receives students from all walks of life. It has an eminent history, which is intricately linked with the freedom struggle and the formulation of the Indian education system. People across all communities have contributed to making it what it is today. It is necessary that the minority character of AMU must be protected in the national interest which has been established and administered by the minority community which enjoys protection under Article 30 of the Constitution.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, during his visit to England (1869-70), he prepared plans for a great educational institution – a “Muslim Cambridge.” On his return, he set up a committee for the purpose and also started an influential journal, Tahzib al-Akhlaq (Social Reform), for the uplift and reforms of the Muslims. It represents the secular Ganga-Jamuni culture of our country in true sense.
On completion of two years in his office as the vice chancellor, in an open letter to the AMU fraternity expressed his feeling about the work done so far. It goes without saying that the smooth functioning of the University is a team-work. He appreciated the confidence and cooperation of all sections of the University community. We affirm our commitment to secularism, pluralism and peaceful coexistence, with emphasis particularly on gender justice. Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor expressed his happiness and said that “Our University has figured among the top national institutions in the ranking conducted by international and national agencies. It is a matter of immense pride that our Faculty of Life Sciences is ranked number one in the country”.
AMU has successfully reaching to accomplish the top academic place in the world like any other excellent university should be doing. Academic standards are constantly on the rise, with sincere effort by the vice chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor, curriculum are being upgraded and enriched on regular basis in every department so as to make sure the education and training is provided must be relevant to the need of the times. His goal is to preserve the Aligarh “tahzeeb” so he is making sure that faculty-student relations are to be cordial, respectful and beneficial to each other. Recently MHRD’s Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) has recommended the status of “Institute of Eminence” to the Aligarh Muslim University. Under this scheme, the University will receive an amount of Rs. 1000 crores over a period of five years. The UGC has accorded us Grade Two autonomy, which spells out numerous opportunities for AMU fraternity. The HRD Ministry has also sanctioned to our UGC Human Resource Development Centre the prestigious LEAP Training Programme. A batch of 26 senior academicians from all the leading institutions in the country will receive academic leadership training at the Ohio State University, USA and Aligarh Muslim University.
The supreme interest of Sir Syed’s life was education in its widest sense. He wanted to create a scientific temperament among the Muslims and to make the modern knowledge of science available to them. He championed the cause of modern education at a time when all the Indians in general and Indian Muslims in particular considered it a sin to get modern education and that too through English language. Sir Syed avoided too much emphasis on religious subjects in his writings, focusing instead on promoting modern education. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan dedicated his life for the Hindu-Muslim unity in the country and worked all his life for the educational upliftment of the community and to strengthen a pluralistic society of a modern India.
As a top-ranking academic institution, University keeps on introducing new, particularly job-oriented courses. Some of the new courses launched in the 2019-2020 academic session, are, MBA (Hospital Administration), MBA (Islamic Banking and Finance), Four new MD Courses in Tibbiya College, P. G. Diploma in Muslim Chaplaincy, Conversion of Diploma seats into MD, MS in Anaesthesiology, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Radio Diagnosis and Ophthalmology. Construction of the “District Early Intervention Centre” (DEIC) in the Department of Paediatrics is in full swing. The NHM has provided Rs 8 crores for this. Centre of Paediatric Cardiology and Paediatric Cardiac Surgery has been operationalized at the cost of Rs. 16 crores. This is first such grant in Uttar Pradesh.
For empowering our girl students, we have submitted an elaborate proposal for a separate, College of Professional Studies for Women, to the Govt. of India, with the budget estimate of Rs. 140 crore. The sanction of this College will hopefully be a fitting component of our Centenary celebrations in 2020, said the vice chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor.
To enhance AMU’s global standing, besides others, AMU has recently signed MoUs with world-class universities and institutes of higher learning, including the Brooklyn College (New York), University Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (Brunei), International Islamic University (Malaysia), Massachusetts General Hospital (Somerville, USA), and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).
To carry the legacy of the great reformer Sir Syed, Prof. Tariq Mansoor main goal is to spread the message of brotherhood throughout the globe and to make this University a world class seat of learning. The way he has taken the initiatives so far clearly shows his vision and plan for the betterment of the University. The real challenge for the vice chancellor of AMU would be to maintain law and order in the university campus. Though he has promised to work on the vision of AMU’s founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, and has already taken a few initiatives in his first two years in the office, his conduct in the days to come matters.
(The writer is a well-known linguist, author and columnist. He may be reached at: email@example.com)