Jamia Millia Islamia Vice-Chancellor Prof. Najma Akhtar was felicitated yesterday at a glittering function on becoming the first woman to hold the coveted post. The function was organised by Padma Shri Prof. (Dr.) Mohsin Wali (Former Physician to the President of India) and his wife Mrs. F. Naaz under the banner of ‘Friends of Jamia’.
The function was attended among others by Prof. Tariq Mansoor and Prof. S.E. Hasnain, Vice Chancellor of AMU and Jamia Hamdard respectively, Deans, HoDs, Directors of various centres of JMI and Registrar of the university.
Also present were Justice (Retd.) Markandey Katju, former planning commission member Sayeda Saiyidain Hameed, former hockey player Aslam Sher Khan, Chief Information Commissioner of UP and former bureaucrat Javed Usmani, Zakat foundation head Zafar Mahmood, beauty industry icon Shahnaz Husain, politician Mohsina Kidwai and ambassadors and high commissioners of various countries. The felicitation function was followed by Iftar and dinner.
Speaking on the occasion Prof. Najma Akhtar, VC, JMI said “Jamia is an outstanding institution. I’ve worked at many places but the environment here is very different.”
She said that the standard of research in JMI is of ‘high quality’ and this is borne out from the fact that the teachers are getting funds in large number from various agencies to carry out their research works.
Talking about the university’s high national and international rankings, she gave credit for this to her predecessors as well as the teaching faculty and sought cooperation from all quarters to take the institution to a new height.
She disclosed that all the courses in the university are being revised to bring them at par with international standard.
“We have to focus on courses which are most important and relevant for the development of the country. We have to redesign our courses according to international standards too and currently the exercise is on to revise the syllabus of the traditional courses”, she added.
She also sought cooperation from the alumni for the development of the university. “Alumni are our pride and their contribution through legal means will be of great help for the university” she said.
She said that university is planning to launch more than a dozen new courses in line with the current need and demand in the country.
Emphasising on gender equality she said her endeavour will be to have more girls taking admission in the university and also to ensure their safety and security. For this she said there is a need for more hostels for girls so that parents do not hesitate in sending their daughters to the University for higher education.
About JMI having a medical college Prof. Akhtar said she has already started working in the direction and sought help from all those present and others as well as alumni in realising the long cherished dream. She said that her efforts will be to make the project a reality and if it is not realised during her tenure she would try to bring it to a level from where her successors could carry it forward.