AMU celebrates Sir Syed Day

Aligarh, October 17: Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr S Y Quraishi today delivered the commemoration address as the chief guest on Sir Syed Day, the 201st birth anniversary of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the University’s Athletics Ground.  

“Sir Syed initiated English education and scientific temper among Indians, which made us world citizens. Sir Syed’s message was not anti-Islam and among his admires were equal number of non-Muslims and Muslims,” said Dr S Y Quraishi.

Dr Quraishi pointed out that during his trips to US, European countries, African countries and West-Asia, he always met AMU alumni, which is reflective of the famous line from AMU anthem, ‘Jo abr yahaṅ se utthega, wo sarey jahaṅ par barsega’ (The cloud which rises from here, will rain all over the world).   

Speaking on the importance of Sir Syed, he said that no doubt, Sir Syed had achieved an impossible goal in a short span of time and besides education, Sir Syed’s ideals in other fields also hold significant position. “Sir Syed undertook rational social reforms and was die-hard secularist not only in letters but in spirit,” he said.

“Taking inspirations from Sir Syed’s teachings and dedication, I tried to work for humanity in my own ways. After becoming the election commissioner, I took the responsibility for making the election process smooth and safe and I am proud that today, there is a 45 percent of rise in women voters and 30 percent rise in over all Indian voters,” said Dr Quraishi.   

In the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said that Sir Syed changed the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education, plurality and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness.

Prof Mansoor pointed out that the supreme interest of Sir Syed’s life was education in its widest sense as he wanted to create a scientific temperament among the common Indians. 

“There are positive changes and developments in AMU with active cooperation of all concerned,” said the Vice Chancellor adding that Times Higher Education has ranked AMU as the fifth best Indian University, while National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) has ranked AMU as the 10th best Indian university. 

“AMU is also among five central universities, who have been granted graded autonomy,” pointed out Prof Mansoor.

“AMU has started new courses such as Masters in Architecture, B Voc (Hons) and M Voc. We are in the process of starting a MBA course in Hospital Management,” he said adding that the University has also increased courses running through the distance learning mode which includes a Bachelor in Computer Sciences.  

The Vice Chancellor informed that AMU has received a grant of Rs 28 crores for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. A new Trauma Centre worth Rs 150 crores has been operationalised. A linear accelerator worth Rs 15 crores will be installed soon for cancer treatment and there is an increase in the hospital grant from 13 to 26 crores; 90 news smart-class rooms have come up and a hostel for research scholars worth Rs 30 crores will soon be constructed. 

He urged the AMU community to pledge continuous hard work and dedication for quality education.  Prof Mansoor announced that the University and its offices will remain close October 18.      

Dr S Y Quraishi and Professor Mansoor honoured Professor Christian W Troll (Noted theologian and Honorary Professor for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule St. Georgen in Frankfurt) and Mr Sanjiv Saraf (Founder, Rekhta Foundation) with the International and National Sir Syed Excellence Awards respectively.

Dr Victor Edwin received a cash prize of Rs two lakhs with a citation on behalf of Professor Christian W Troll who could not travel to India due to health problems. Meanwhile, receiving a cash prize of Rs one lakh and citation for the National Sir Syed Excellence Award, Mr Sanjiv Saraf said, “We, the lovers of Urdu language, take great pride in how this language conveys complex emotions and experiences.” He pointed out that Rekhta is an initiative, which targets to bring Urdu’s charming cadence in dimensions of poetry, aesthetics, and tradition to the masses. 

Prof M Erfan Ali Mondal (Department of Geology) and Dr Yasir Hasan Siddique (Department of Zoology) received the Outstanding Researcher of the Year and Young Researcher of the Year Awards for 2018 from the Faculties of Science, Life Sciences, Medicine, Unani Medicine category; while Prof Akbar Husain (Dean, Faculty of Social Science) and Dr Shivangini Tandon (Centre for Women’s Studies) were conferred with the Outstanding Researcher of the Year and Young Researcher of the Year Awards for 2018 from the Faculties of Humanities/Social Sciences, Law, Commerce, Management Studies and Research category.

Prof Akbar Husain and Prof Erfan Ali Mondal received cash prizes of Rs one lakh each and citations for their Outstanding Researcher of the Year awards, while Dr Yasir Hasan Siddique and Dr Shivangini Tandon received cash prizes of Rs 50, 000 each with citations for their Young Researcher of the Year awards.

The top three winners of the ‘All India Essay Writing Competition’ on the topic of “Importance of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s Thought on Tolerance and Peaceful Coexistence in Today’s World” also received their prizes from the Chief Guest and the Vice Chancellor.

With a cash prize of Rs 25,000, Ms Jagriti Sanghi, a BALLB student at the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, Kerala bagged the first prize while Mr Mohd Umair Khan, student of MA Economics at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh won the second place with a cash prize of Rs 15,000. Ms Kiran Francis, student of M Phil (Applied Geology), University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu has emerged third with a prize of Rs 10,000.

Fourteen other participants representing different states have been given State Topper prizes with prize money Rs 5,000 each. The winners under this category include Ankita Goel, Magadh Mahila College, Patna, Bihar; Dhruvi Mukeshbhai Navadiya, Parul Institute of Ayurved, Vadodra, Gujarat; Uday Talwar, Chitkara University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh; Ahad Ali, M M Engineering College, Haryana; Aabid Ahmad Sheikh, MERC Media Education Centre, University of Kashmir, Jammu & Kashmir; Mohammed Sahal, Madeenathunnoor College, Kerala; Fathima Zohra, Tumkur University, Karnataka; Anupriya Aggarwal, IIT, Mumbai, Maharashtra; Utkarsh Agrawal, University of Delhi, New Delhi; Pratap Jena, Regional Institute of Education, Odisha; Shweta Miglani, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Punjab; Thiruvazhimarban S, Ramanujam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics, Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Wajahat Monaf Jilani, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, UP and Maga Doni, IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal. 

Prof Seemin Hasan (Department of English), Prof Abdur Raheem Kidwai (Director, UGC HRD Centre), Mr Wajahat Monaf Jilani (BA LLB, Final-year student) and Ms Aafia Rizvi (BA Hons, First-year student) delivered special speeches on teachings, philosophy, works and mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

Professor Jamshed Siddiqui (Dean Students Welfare) proposed the vote of thanks, while Prof F S Sheerani and Dr Faiza Abbasi conducted the programme. Prof M H Beg (Pro Vice Chancellor), IPS Officer Mr Abdul Hamid (Registrar), Mr Mujib Ullah Zuberi (Controller), Prof S M Jawaid Akhtar (Finance Officer) and other dignitaries were also present.

The proceedings of the day began with a Quran Khwani (Quranic Recitation) at the University Mosque. Prof Mansoor with senior professors and officers of the university paid floral tributes at the Mazaar (grave) of Sir Syed after the traditional ritual of ‘Chadar Poshi’.

Earlier in the day, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Mansoor inaugurated an ‘Exhibition of Books and Photographs pertaining on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’ at the Sir Syed House. The exhibition was jointly organised by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy. On the occasion, the Vice Chancellor released four books, ‘Sir Syed ka Islahi Mission’ by Prof Towqueer Alam Falahi, ‘Jihat-e-Sir Syed’ by Dr Shams Badayuni, ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan: Wazahati wa Mauzooati Kitabiyat’ by Dr Ata Khursheed and ‘Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’ by Dr Mohammad Umar Raza. 

Prof Mansoor also inaugurated the Sir Syed Academy website. Dr Syed Ali M Naqvi (Director, Sir Syed Academy) and Dr Mohammad Shahid (Deputy Director, Sir Syed Academy) with other dignitaries attended the programme.