“Let us pay tribute to our valiant freedom fighters whose courage and resolve helped achieve an independent, democratic, secular republic; and as proud Indians it is our duty to keep striving for nation building and for scaling new heights of social justice, peaceful coexistence, and equal opportunities for all,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor, while addressing a gathering of teachers, students and other staff members at Strachey Hall after hoisting the national flag, marking the 72nd Independence Day of India.
Prof Mansoor said that Aligarh Muslim University has played a leading role in the struggle for Independence and we reiterate today our commitment to nation building.
He remarked, “AMU has figured amid the top ranking educational institutions of the country, improving its rank from 12th last year to 10th this year in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (official ranking of the Ministry of Human Resource Development)”. He added that AMU has also been ranked among the top 5 universities in India by the Times Higher Education and India Today and the second best by the US News Education in 2018.
Prof Mansoor called upon the students, teachers and the University staff to elevate AMU to further heights with hard work, excellent teaching, quality publications, patents and state-of-the art infrastructure. “We have been consistently working for the upgradation of our departments, revision of syllabuses and modernization of teaching-learning facilities for the benefit of students, especially by leveraging ICT and updated knowledge systems. We have converted 70 existing classrooms into new smart classrooms at a remarkable pace in the past six months”. He further informed that work is underway for construction of a new research scholar’s hostel costing Rs 30 crore and an additional one time grant of Rs nine crore has been sanctioned for renovation of existing hostels.
He further pointed out, “I have personally overseen efforts that led doubling the grant of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital (JNMCH) from Rs 12 crore to Rs 25 crore this year. We have in principle approval for establishment of Tertiary Cancer Care Centre costing Rs 44 crore under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and work is expected to start soon on the College of Nursing for which University Grants Commission has sanctioned Rs 20 crores.”
The Vice Chancellor added that the University Green Initiative, the National Academic Depository, the solar plant, enhancement and renovation of academic buildings, waste water treatment, more seating capacity at the Maulana Azad Library and study rooms for research scholars at the departments are some of our latest accomplishments.
Prof Mansoor exhorted the teaching staff to collaborate with eminent academicians and AMU alumni globally through government of India’s program- Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN) and AMU’s own program Alig’s Academic Enrichment Programme (AAEP). He also urged for operationalizing existing MoUs with foreign universities while further informing on AMU’s recent foreign collaborations with Brooklyn College University New York, Central University Brunei, International Islamic University Malaysia and Massachusetts Hospital, USA.
He thanked AMU alumni for their generous financial and human resource contributions, and informed that AMU plans to hold a memorable Alumni Meet in 2018 with the Founder’s Day in mid-October. “We plan to commence a pilot project for the bonding of children of Alumni with AMU.”
“I have been taking up at the highest levels, the matter of release of funds of our off-campus centres at Murshidabad, Kishanganj and Malappuram and a detailed proposal has been submitted to the MHRD in the regard,” he further informed.
Prof Mansoor said, “It is heartening that in the recent past, we welcomed dignitaries such as the President of India, Former President of India and the Governor of Uttar Pradesh in the Annual Convocation and Sir Syed Day.”
Addressing the students, the Vice Chancellor said AMU has been granted Category-2 autonomy by the UGC. “It is both an opportunity and challenge and I look forward to the same valuable cooperation which I have been fortunately receiving from all sections of the AMU community,” he said adding, “Let us now make the most of the new opening provided to us by for launching new professional courses, for equipping our students with life skills to enable them to carve a niche for themselves in the competitive world.”
We are committed to the cause of Muslim education, especially of girls, said Prof Mansoor urging the AMU community to keep “women education in AMU” as the focal point for University Centenary celebrations in 2020.
The Vice Chancellor expressed satisfaction on timely completion of the admission process and commencement of academic session. He urged students to remain disciplined and focus on their studies while emphasising that those who try to disrupt peaceful academic atmosphere the doors of the university will be closed for them.
Making a reference to the Minority Character issue of AMU, Prof Mansoor informed that it is a grave existential crisis facing AMU. “I have been pursuing with utmost sincerity all constitutional and legal avenues in our quest for justice,” said the Vice Chancellor informing that the University has sought the best legal counsel with all hopes to come out victorious as we have full faith in our judiciary and constitution.
“The issue of SC/ST reservations also cropped up and we have resorted to the most plausible lawful course. At this critical juncture, I appeal to the entire AMU community to firmly stay together and united, and I pray to Almighty God for AMU to prevail with its ideals of education, large hearted tolerance and enlightenment uncompromised,” said Prof Mansoor.
While concluding the speech, the Vice Chancellor wished good luck, health and peace to the Nation and the AMU community. He thanked everyone for the renewed Independence Day pledge for bringing glory to India and the University.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof M H Beg with teachers from all the faculties, students and non-teaching staff was present on the occasion. Newly appointed AMU Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) conducted the programme and proposed the vote of thanks.
In a related event, the Vice Chancellor along with his wife Dr Hameeda Tariq and other University officials, planted saplings at the lawns of at the lawns of Union Hall and distributed fruits to the ailing students in the University Health Service.
He also inaugurated the library of Sir Syed Hall, South and later laid the foundation stone of new Student’s Canteen near the Moinuddin Arts Gallery.
As a part of Independence Day celebrations, the Department of Urdu also organized a poetic evening on the eve of the Independence Day at the Assembly Hall of the University Polytechnic. The Vice Chancellor presided over the Mushaira (Poetic Symposium) proceedings, while the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof M H Beg was the Chief Guest. Prof Tariq Mohammad Chattari, Chairperson, Department of Urdu welcomed the guests and Prof Seraj Ajmali conducted the proceedings. Prof Zafar Ahmad proposed the vote of thanks.