Interview: Dr. Zahir Kazi, President of Anjuman-I-Islam, Mumbai

By Danish Reyaz, for,

Dr. Zahir I Kazi is a prominent scholar and educationist. He is the President of Anjuman-I-Islam, Mumbai and senate member of Mumbai University. In an interview with Danish Reyaz, he talks about the Anjuman, its activities and future plan.

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Isn’t it true that our institutions are not up to contemporary demands?
Yes, of course it is the need of time and we want to change our old system. Pragmatically if we have plan then we will succeed. The time is passing very fast but our reformation process is very slow. But I can share with you that our Anjuman is a progressive institute. We are not only an institution but running as a social organization too. So we are trying best to better ourselves. We are changing our educational plan according to global scenario. And we are also trying to give quality education.

Dr. Zahir I Kazi

What is the benchmark of Anjuman?
Anjuman is an ideal, standard and historical institute formed by Justice Badruddin Tayeb ji in 1880. If you remember that time they had started professional courses for girls. And it was according to British commission. Let me tell you that it was the first and only commercial institute in Maharashtra where students are getting typewriter training, fashion designing training etc. Now we are starting Integral Technical Campus at New Panvel for which we have got the permission. It is very interesting story that when some guys came from Central educational department to inspect our educational system, within two to three hours they wrote to the centre to give them a clean chit to pursue their expectations.

Anjuman has lots of colleges and institutions. Why shouldn’t you try to build a university?
Yes of course we have more than one hundred schools, colleges and polytechnics, and we have enough land too. But our Anjuman is not getting fund by the government like Jamia Millia or Aligarh Muslim University. Many people have suggested that we should try as a Deemed University like others who are getting too much money from this idea. But we don’t want so; we want to serve education for all citizens. But I’m sure, if our community changes, then one day we will be recognized as a University.

What is your future plan for Anjuman?
We have 167 acres of land in Pnchgani and 1.8 acres in Matheran hill station. In two places we are planning a modern allopathic college and a training and recreation centre. It is a new project but we are doing it on a priority basis. Now sports are career, so we are trying to set up a sports academy especially for cricket. Now we are looking for a female coach for our Girls’ Cricket Team. In 2020 vision we are trying to open our branches in other countries. We are also trying an Internet Educational Television, which will be the first educational television. We are also planning a video conferencing program where we will guide others institutions. Especially for Urdu institutions we are trying to promote a variety of extra curriculum activities.

You are senate member of Mumbai University. What is your comment on the present educational atmosphere of the university?
I am not only a senate member but also a former student of Mumbai University. When I was studying there, the educational environment was very good. Very intelligent student were studying there and now are doing well in their life. But today I do not find such atmosphere there. Now it is a battle ground for politicians. Everyone is using their influence and educational quality is going from bad to worse. I had attended last two meetings and seen that no one is serious on quality education. The quality education is going poorer. But I think that it will not remain for a long time, now students are very serious and they will change the system.

As an academician what is your suggestions to improve the situation?
First, who are on the key posts and don’t have any good academic qualification they should resign. Therefore everyone should have status and evaluation. If we are talking about international educational system and our employees don’t have any experience; then how he or she will be able to educate their students according to global educational system. Second, even today, our University is not fully computerized. Even our meetings minutes is not recorded. We are also very poor in science and technology education; we need to have more practical approach. It is also very important to look at primary and secondary education. Learning with understanding is very important. I think if we provide an understanding atmosphere then our children will grow successfully.

About Dr Zahir I Kazi
Dr. Zahir I Kazi was elected president of Anjuma-I-Islam, a century old largest educational and social welfare organization, in November 2009. Dr. Kazi has enjoyed a long and varied career in Medical, Academy and Social activities. Qualification wise, Dr. Zahir I Kazi has an M.D, DMRD, M.B.B.S (University of Mumbai), FMRI (U.S.A), MAIUM (U.S.A.) degrees.

Dr. Zahir Kazi has received several Awards and Achievements for his contributions. He was awarded by EKTA foundation for his service in field of medicine and by SEWAA for his work in the field of Education. He is Ex-President of Goa Medical College Students Union and Ex-Secretary of Doctors Club of Bombay Hospital.

(Danish Reyaz is a Mumbai based journalist and associated with The Sunday Indian, weekly news magazine)