Najeeb Jung, able administrator, took Jamia to new heights

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Najeeb Jung, who has been named the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, is an Indian Administrative Service officer who was planning for his retirement when he was named the vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi in 2009, an appointment he did not expect.

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    Under his leadership the 92-year-old university has progressed from being seen as a “dressed up madrassa” to an acknowledged centre of modern and secular education, research and extra-curricular activities.

    He has presided over the opening of numerous new centres and departments in Jamia, from the cutting-edge Centre for Nano Sciences and Nanotechnology to the expansion of the International Studies Programmes under the Academy of International Studies, noticeably the Pakistan, China and Afghanistan studies programmes.

    He actively engaged scholars from Pakistan, and delivered a lecture at the Jinnah Institute, Islamabad, under the Distinguished Speakers’ Series.

    During his tenure, Jamia became a training centre for athletes for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.

    Jung joined the IAS Madhya Pradesh cadre in 1973 and worked in various capacities in Madhya Pradesh and the central governments. He has worked in the energy sector, and was associated with the Asian Development Bank and Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Oxford University, before he was called to head the Jamia in New Delhi.

    He has headed or been nominated member to numerous committees appointed by the government. He headed the core committee appointed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to look into the state of higher education in the country and recommend changes.

    Recently, he was nominated to the National Institute of Disaster Management as a member and to the expert committee to consider backwardness of the states.

    His views on secularism and inter-faith dialogue have regularly appeared in mainstream newspapers.

    Jung did his schooling from St Columba’s, New Delhi, and did his Masters in history from St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He indulged extensively in theatre as part of the college’s Shakespeare Society. He took to stage after more than 40 years when he acted in IPTA production Anarkali-Akbar-Salim in February 2011.

    A keen literary enthusiast, Jung extensively read from Ghalib and other Urdu poets while at Jamia.

    He has a wife and three daughters.