Aligarh, October 17: "Sir Syed had a collegial and compassionate view of peaceful co-existence, collaboration and communal harmony in a pluralistic society. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founder of Banaras Hindu University, shared Sir Syed's ecumenical perspective and his vision," said AMU alumnus and head of the FI Investment Group, USA, Dr Frank Islam while delivering the Sir Syed Day commemoration address on the occasion of Sir Syed Day at Aligarh Muslim University's Athletic Ground on Thursday.
Dr Frank Islam, entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, civic leader, writer was the chief guest on the occasion of Sir Syed Day. AMU celebrated the 202nd birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan with traditional fervour and gaiety. On the occasion, Dr Islam delivered the commemoration address on the subject 'Remembering and Building upon Sir Syed's Legacy of Love, Learning and Light'.
He pointed out that Pandit Malaviya was quoted saying that the country can gain strength and develop when our people live in mutual good will and harmony and that India belongs to people of all faiths. There is no doubt that Sir Syed and Pandit Malaviya shared a spiritual bond. Sir Syed once said that he regarded both Hindus and Muslims as his two eyes, he added.
"Sir Syed went on to say, 'Would that I had only one eye.' He used that phrase to indicate that he loved both Hindus and Muslims equally," said Dr Islam adding that these words explain Sir Syed's thought system and that he recognised more than just one ultimate principle.
"This day commemorates the unrivalled accomplishments of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) founder, Sir Syed and the legacy he left for all of us who have graduated from this marvellous institution.
Dr Islam stressed, "Sir Syed believed that education and shared educational experiences are pillars for achieving peaceful co-existence, collaboration, communal harmony and national progress."
"Sir Syed founded the Mahommedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College which later became AMU with a focus on advancing educational interests and competencies of people. He also ensured that from its establishment the College was not the province of any religion," highlighted Dr Islam.
"I must stress that Sir Syed's vision was embraced by people of all religious communities as many wealthy Hindus were major benefactors of MAO College," said Dr Islam.
Drawing attention to what Sir Syed said at the founding of MAO College, Dr Islam emphasised, "Sir Syed then said that the sons and daughters of this institution will go forth throughout the length and breadth of the land to preach the gospel of free inquiry, large-hearted toleration, and pure morality."
"MAO College became a university and today AMU offers over 350 full-time courses in fields like agriculture, medicine, science and engineering among other streams and draws students from all corners of India and from countries around the world," he said adding that AMU graduates are spread all over India and around the world, making significant contributions.
"There are currently almost 20,000 AMU alumni in 100 countries world-wide. I am one of them," pointed Dr Islam.
"When Sir Syed was nearing the end of his life, he lost eyesight, but not his vision and determination. He built the MAO College, now AMU so that students carry its light far and wide to eliminate darkness," said Dr Islam.
He pointed out, the Entrepreneurship Center in the Frank and Debbie Islam Management Complex can make a difference by promoting ideas, innovation and implementation for cultivating entrepreneurial leaders; while the Frank and Debbie Islam Auditorium in the Department of Mass Communication will be a place for students to discuss all things related to our Country's democracy and press.
Quoting Sir Syed, 'All human beings are our brothers and sisters and working for the welfare is obligatory for Muslims,' Dr Islam urged students to build on Sir Syed's legacy of love, learning and light.
In the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor said, "In view Sir Syed's vision; the University has started number of courses in emerging areas such as M Tech (Biomedical Engineering), M Tech (Solar and Renewable Energy), MBA (Hospital Administration), MBA (Islamic Banking and Finance) and a PG Diploma course in Muslim Chaplaincy."
Starting of the Centre for Robotic Engineering and Artificial Intelligence has been initiated, said the Vice Chancellor adding that many PG Diploma seats have been converted into MD/MS seats.
The Trauma Centre costing Rs 15 crores is fully operational and construction work for the Paramedical College and Nursing College has began, said Prof Mansoor.
He announced that the UGC has sanctioned a grant of Rs 19 crores for equipment and infrastructure development, 160 smart class rooms are now functional and a 1500 bedded hostel for girls, the Begum Azizun Nisa Hall is operational.
The Vice Chancellor emphasised that since the University is committed to the cause of physically challenged, four percent reservation in admission and employment has been implemented.
On AMU's commitment to environment protection, Prof Mansoor said that solar energy generation has been enhanced to 6.5 megawatt in University. He added that AMU is also partnering in the environmental protection of the Taj Mahal through the Department of Civil Engineering. The University is also collaborating for the smart-city projects of Agra, Aligarh and Bareilly.
He further announced that Rs 67 crores have been sanctioned by Ministry of Minority Affairs for 250 bedded boys and girls hostel at the Murshidabad and Malappurram Centres; NHM has sanctioned Rs 28 crores for 100 bedded MCH wing and Rs four crores for Infertility Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; an amount of Rs 5.5 crores has been given by the Maulana Azad Foundation for the Community College; UGC has sanctioned Rs 13 crores additional amount for equipment and up gradation of infrastructure for the 2019-20 session and Rs 1.6 crores was released as the first instalment by ICAR for Faculty of Agriculture Sciences.
Later, VC Prof Tariq Mansoor announced that teaching will remain suspended on Friday.
Dr Islam and Professor Mansoor honoured The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy with the International and National Sir Syed Excellence Awards respectively. Dr Farhan Nizami received the Sir Syed Excellence Award with a cash prize of Rs two lakhs for The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, while Prof Ishtiaq Ahmad Zilli collected the award with Rs one lakh, prize money, on behalf of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy.
Dr Farhan Nizami announced that he is donating the prize money to start a special visiting fellowship for AMU students at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
AMU Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) read the citations for the awardees.
Professor Mujeebur Rahman Khan, Department of Plant Protection and Dr Riaz Ahmad, Department of Zoology received the Innovation Council Awards for Outstanding Researcher of the Year and Young Researcher of the Year from University Pro Chancellor, Nawab Ibne Saeed Khan Chhatari. They received Rs one lakh and Rs 50 000 as prize money respectively with the awards.
The top three winners of the 'All India Essay Writing Competition' on the topic, "Revisiting Sir Syed in the Contemporary World" also received their prizes from the University Treasurer, Prof Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman.
With a cash prize of Rs 25,000, Md Farrukh Ilyas, a student of BA Political Science in AMU bagged the first prize while Mamdooh Abdul Fathah of Madeenathunnoor College of Islamic Science, Markaz Garden, Calicut, Kerala won the second place with a cash prize of Rs 15,000 and Hunaiza Mushtaq of Sri Venkateshwara College of Pharmacy, Hyderabad, Telangana emerged third with prize money of Rs 10,000.
A cash prize worth Rs 5,000 was given to state toppers from colleges and universities across the country. The winners under this category are Chennasamudram Chenna Kesavulu, Annamacharya College of Pharmacy, Rajampet, Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh); Mohd Yaqoob, AMU Malappuram Centre, Malappuram (Kerala); Kusuma B, College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru (Karnataka); Mohammed Uzair Javed Akhtar, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh); Hera Wali, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (Delhi State); Santosini Panda, Parala Maharaja Engineering College Sitalapalli, Berhampur (Odisha); Heena Choudhary, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur (Rajasthan); Harini NP, Vellore Intitute of Technology, Vellore (Tamil Nadu); Ganesh PR, University Of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, (Telangana); Md Aadil Akhlaque, AMU Murshidabad Centre, Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Ansab Amir Khan and Muhammed Salim P, both from AMU shared the state topper prize for Uttar Pradesh.
AMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Akhtar Haseeb distributed the Students' Research and Innovation Awards. The first prize was conferred to Mr Uzair Alam (M.Sc Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre), while Mr Mohd Nooruddin Ansari (PhD, Museology) and Mr Abdul Hannan Mustajab (B.Sc Mathematics) shared the second prize. Mr Md Kaikubad Ali (PhD, Geography) and Mr Suhail Ahmad (B.A Psychology) were given the third prize and Mr Shahe Alam (BUMS) won the consolation prize.
Dr Sheeba Hamid, Department of Commerce; Prof Syed Sirajuddin Ajmali, Department of Urdu; Ansab Amir Khan (B Tech Mechanical) and Ms Afnan (BA English) delivered special speeches on teachings, philosophy, works and mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
Mr Mujib Ullah Zuberi (Controller), Prof S M Jawaid Akhtar (Finance Officer) and Afifullah Khan (Proctor) with other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Prof Shamsul Haque Siddiqui, Dean Students' Welfare extended the vote of thanks; while Dr Faiza Abbasi and Dr Shariq Aqil conducted the programme.
The proceedings of the day began with a Quran Khwani (Quranic Recitation) after the Fajr (Day Break) prayer at the University Mosque. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Mansoor with faculty members and officers of the University paid floral tribute at the Mazaar (grave) of Sir Syed following the traditional ritual of 'Chadar Poshi'.
The Vice Chancellor also inaugurated 'Exhibition of Books and Photographs' pertaining to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the Sir Syed House. The exhibition was jointly organised by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy.
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