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Dr Frank Islam inaugurates Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium

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Date : 16 Oct 2019

16-OCT-2019: Dr Frank Islam inaugurates Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium and Entrepreneurship Centre

Aligarh, October 16: Inaugurating the Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium, Department of Mass Communication and the Entrepreneurship Centre, Department of Business Administration in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU); University alumnus, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, civic leader, writer and head of the FI Investment Group, USA, Dr Frank Islam said AMU shaped his story and instilled core values that served him in good stead throughout life.

Earlier, the ceremony began by observing two minute silence to mourn the sad demise of former AMU student Anas Shamsi on Tuesday.

Dr Islam, who had donated Rs one crore for the Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium emphasised, "The auditorium in the department will be a special place, where students, faculty and guests will convene in a setting to look, listen and learn."

He said that it will be a place to exchange information and ideas on democracy and free press.

"I want to assure you that these are not just idle words. I put my money where my mouth is: That is why my wife and I have provided financial support for the naming of this auditorium," emphasised Dr Islam. He also assured of financial assistance for installing Air Conditioning facility in the auditorium.

"I am doubly blessed to have the privilege of living in two largest democracies in the world (India and United States of America) and I believe that active and engaged citizenship is essential to keep these democracies vibrant and exemplars for democracy world-wide," he said.

Dr Islam pointed out: "Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression and there is a general consensus that this article includes freedom of the press."

Since 1947, free press in India has grown substantially and contributed significantly to the evolution of the Indian democracy, he said.

Dr Islam elaborated that fake news and truthful news can make a tremendous difference in a democracy. "Truthful news has the collaboration in problem-solving, community building and pursuit of the common good; while fake news highlights our differences, widens gap between citizens, and reinforces polarization and partisanship," he pointed out.

Dr Islam and his wife have also sponsored fellowships through the Alfred Friendly Press Partners affiliated with the University of Missouri School of Journalism to bring deserving journalists from India to the United States for classroom education and to work in an American newsroom. Smitha Rajan, assistant editor with DNA Divya Bhaskar and AMU alumnus Gulam Jeelani from Hindustan Times were accepted for fellowship programme.

Dr Islam with AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor also presented journalism excellence awards to Ms Romana Isar (Anchor, ABP News), Mr Anuj Kumar (Senior Assistant Editor, The Hindu), Mr Santosh Sharma (Dainik Jagran), Mr Pranav Agarwal (The Hindustan) and Mr Mohammad Kamran (News 18, Urdu). Presiding at the launch of Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said, "Media is the pillar of democracy and we in India have had great journalists such as Khushwant Singh, Kuldeep Nayar and Arun Shourie among others.

He added that there many media organisations, who are working the best to report stories in brave and honest ways without making compromises on the core values of the profession.

At the inaugural of Entrepreneurship Centre, Department of Business Administration; Dr Islam, who had donated Rs two cores for this project, said that this Centre will make a difference by promoting ideas, innovation and implementation for cultivating entrepreneurial leaders to make a difference in India and the world. Earlier, Dr Islam has donated Rs 12 crore for the construction of Frank and Debbie Islam Management Complex.

He added: "Opportunities for entrepreneurial leaders in India are greater than before. There are nearly two times as many new businesses and start-ups in India as there are in the United States. Initiatives like the Start-up India, Make in India and Skills India provide support for launching and expanding ventures."

He elaborated that as India is becoming a major force in the world stage, areas such as health care, education, climate control and economic development are substantial and calling out for new ideas.

"The time is now to act and the entrepreneurial leaders are the keys to future and I am sure with this incubation centre for future entrepreneurs, AMU students will deliver on Sir Syed's vision," said Dr Islam.

At the Entrepreneurship Centre launch function, Vice Chancellor, Prof Mansoor said that an incubation centre is to protect when you are vulnerable and it is where the ideas of students will be protected to become mature start-up initiatives.

He urged students to go for team work and hard work with all the determination to succeed in plans.

"It is important to take risk to implement an idea into a business plan and those who can excel will survive," said the Vice Chancellor.

AMU alumnus, Mr Syed Ali Rizvi, who accompanied Dr Islam on the tour said, "AMU is a Mecca of education and it is here where even walls and halls speak to us. The University alumni spread all over the world are eager to share their expertise and knowledge with the current generation of students attending AMU."

Professor Shafey Kidwai, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication and Prof Valeed A Ansari, Dean, Faculty of Management and Research delivered welcome addresses at the Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium and Entrepreneurship Centre launch functions respectively.

Prof Parvez Talib, Chairman, Department of Business Administration emphasised that the Entrepreneurship Centre aims to produce more business leaders like Frank Islam.

AMU Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) and Mr Abdullah Tarin extended vote of thanks at Frank and Debbie Mass Communication Auditorium and Entrepreneurship Centre launch functions.

Dr Huma Parveen conducted the programme at the Department of mass Communication, while Hamda Siddiqui conducted the Department of Business Administration function.

AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Akhtar Haseeb, Ms Debbie J Dreisman and renowned AMU alumnus, Mr A Abdullah attended both the functions.

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