By Syed Zubair Ahmad
When he entered Aligarh Muslim University as an undergraduate student in 1993 he was just 20 but already a Sir Syed was growing up in him. He had read about the vision, sacrifice and works of visionary Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. During next seven years at AMU he would often visit the mazar of the one and only educational revolutionary Indian Muslim and sit there for long hours enlightening himself with the vision of the founder of AMU.
When the Karimganj youth Mahbubul Hoque was leaving the university in 2000 with first class B.Sc. and MCA degrees high-paid lucrative job offers from MNCs, King Fahd University and AMU itself came up to him but now the grown-up Sir Syed in him turned down all offers. The 27-year-old Hoque came back to home state Assam and made a very humble start in 2001 towards his vision and dream. The next 10 years saw a miracle being played by Hoque in North East.
When I heard about the unbelievable achievements of an Aligarian called Mahbubul Hoque from Assam , I wanted to meet him at the earliest opportunity. Recently he was in Delhi to receive an award. When I reached his hotel room to meet him I got elated and surprised. He is the real heir of Sir Syed in look and deed. A true Aligarian literally and virtually. He had a dream like Sir Syed and got that dream materialized. After finishing his study at Aligarh Muslim University, he reached Guwahati with his old computer and within ten years he established University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya.
Born on December 1, 1973 in village Purbogool under Patharkandi of Karimganj district of Assam, Mahbubul Hoque did his matriculation from Karimganj with star marks and HS (Science) from G.C. College, Silchar.
Then this young man from one of the most backward region of India starts his real journey to chase his dream and reaches Aligarh Muslim University.
A resident of 17-Jubilee Hostel, VM Hall from 1993 to 2000 Mahbubul Hoque did BSc(Chemistry), PDCA & MCA securing first class second rank
Although he had lucrative job offers in multinationals & IT industry, but he started his career as an Educational Entrepreneur. He started Central IT College with one computer and 4 students in the year 2001. He managed finance by assembling computers which was sold in the market to establish a computer lab which later became the 2nd largest center in India under SMU having enrollment strength 3000 plus students.
After completing his MCA from AMU he wanted to start an Engineering College and went with his proposal to many community entrepreneurs but Mahbubul didn’t get positive response. Then he changed his mind and decided to cherish his dream at his own.
With his old computer which he brought from Aligarh he started a batch of 4 students who were enrolled at Sikkim Manipal University in 2001. At the same time he started assembling computers and selling them in extra time. The same year he sold over 100 computers. The number of students kept increasing every year. In 2002, 28 students, in 2003, 128 students, in 2004, 236 students, in 2005, 450 students, in 2006, 1300 students, in 2007, 2200 students, and in 2008, 35000 students took admission in his Central IT College.
His dream of establishing an IT college was materialized. But he had the dream of Sir Syed. In those years he kept on striving to establish a university. Meghalaya was more suitable for him to materialize his dream. Eleven km away from Guwahati he acquired the land for the university and in 2008 Meghalaya government approved his university and he became the founder of University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya (USTM) and nominated as Chancellor of the University by the Governor of Meghalaya, the Visitor of USTM.
The USTM has been established in 350 acres of picturesque landscape which is situated about 85 km from the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong and about 11 km from capital of Assam, Dispur.
The university was approved but Mahbubul had not enough money to start the academic session. He had to take loan of Rs 10 crore from the bank for the construction of the building.
Like Sir Syed he has also developed many ailments due to mental strain. But he is quite hopeful that after 5-6 years he will overcome his financial problems. Sir Syed got support from lots of Muslim Nawabs and Muslim masses in general. Unfortunately Sir Syed of our time is not lucky like him. So he is fighting alone.
Last year when the Bodoland violence left lakhs of Muslims homeless Mahbubul came in new Avatar. He started working tirelessly for the educational rehabilitation of the homeless children who were living in relief camps. More than 35,000 students were affected by the violence of which 13,000 were school going children. Under the educational rehabilitation programme organizations and philanthropists were invited to support those children through sponsorship, financial aid, adoption, establishing residential schools for girls, establishing industrial training institute, and coaching and guidance centers.
For Mahbubul Hoque ‘Life and wealth are gifted to us by the Almighty for doing good deeds and to serve the society for which we are answerable on the Day of Judgement’.
Being the true heir of visionary Sir Syed, Mahbubul says we the Aligarians can establish one university every year at our own. Can’t 50000 of us donate 10000 annually? Can’t we establish a university in 500 crore? Is it impossible for us? But the problem is we have no vision.
In my last article ‘I am proud of Sir Syed but not a proud Aligarian’ (https://www.muslimmirror.com/eng/indian-muslim/881-i-am-proud-of-sir-syed-but-not-a-proud-aligarian) I had said I do not find pride in being Aligarian. But after meeting with Mahbubul I can say I am not a proud Aligarian but I am proud of this Aligarian. I hope that day will come when I would say I am proud of Sir Syed and I am a proud Aligarian too.
Some achievements of Mahbubul Hoque in brief
He is the Founder Chairman of ERD FOUNDATION (Education, Research & Development Foundation) established in the year 2005.
Founder & Chairman of Regional College of Higher Education, Guwahati, a professional College affiliated to North eastern Hill University, Shillong
Founder & Chairman of Regional Institute of Science & Technology, 9th Mile, both are affiliated to NEHU Shillong & approved by All India Council of Technical Education, New Delhi
Founder of two CBSE affiliated schools at Karimganj namely Central Public School -Patharkandi & Central Public School – Badrapur
Founder & Chancellor of University of Science & Technology, Meghalaya. Nominated as Chancellor of the University by the Governor of Meghalaya, the Visitor of USTM.
Founder of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Centre For Coaching & Guidance, Guwahati
Founder of HOQUE 20
Initiated the schemes:
a) Prof Qoumrul Hoque Memorial Scholarship
b) Khairun Nessa Begum Womens Endowment
c) Dr Bhupen Hazarika Fellowship
d) Prof Qoumrul Hoque Memorial Endowment for Microfinance
Established & dedicated:
1) Prof SD Phukan Science Block 2) Gandhiji Block 3) Sir Syed House (North & South) 4) Prof. Qoumrul Hoque Academic Complex 5) Maulana Azad Block 6) Dr BR Ambedkar Block 7) Tirot Singh Boys Hostel.
Founder of CENTRE FOR EDUCATIONAL REHABILITATION under which 100+ students from BTAD were fully sponsored by different institutions & 115+ higher educational students have been offered scholarships another 2000+ in pipeline for next academic session to be adopted outside the state
Present Strength of ERDF : 9-Institutions including one University, 5500+ students under Roll , 45 Departments, 85+ courses including PhD, 650+ Human Resources, 6000 Alumni, 50 scholarships, 5 journals & 5-publications.
1) Women’s College at Badarpur
2) B.Ed College, Karimganj
3) B.Ed College, 9th Mile
4) Nursing College in Karimganj
5) Women’s Hostel, Guwahati
6) Another 8 CBSE Schools before 2016
Mr Hoque is also Chief Patron of a number of professional and research bodies which have been set up by ERDF.
Member, National Monitoring Committee for Minorities’ Education (NMCME), Ministry of HRD, Govt of India,
President of North East Forum for Technical Institutions (NEFTI) and
General Secretary, Minorities’ Citizen Council (MCC), Assam.
Member, Standing Committee, National Monitoring Committe for Minorities Education, Ministry of HRD, Govt of India
Founder of Centre for Educational Rehabilitation, ERDF for strife affected students of BTAD, Assam
Residential Address: House No. 16. Nabamilan Path, Lastgate, Dispur, Guwahati-06, Assam