AMU VC vows to make university a brand name

Hyderabad : AMU Vice-Chancellor Lt. General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd.) Friday said here that he has vowed to make the university a brand name like IITs and IIMs by improving the quality of instruction and focus on research.

Speaking at a function where he was felicitated by Indo-Arab League chairman Syed Vicaruddin, who is also editor of Urdu daily “Rehnuma-e-Deccan”, the former Indian Army deputy chief said Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students will get best opportunity and best employment.

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He said he wants to see AMU students get placement by the time they finish their graduation. The university has already rehashed the syllabi to cater to the needs of the industry.

Shah, who took over as the head of the leading modern school of learning for Muslims in 2012, is working to make AMU the number one university in the country by 2017 and one of the 200 leading universities in the world by 2020.

He points out that not a single Indian university is in the top-200 list.

“We are trying to rejuvenate and regain number one spot which AMU always enjoyed since Independence. Our rankings had slipped but I am very proud to say a survey by Times Education, London, ranks AMU as the third best university in India,” he said.

Saying that AMU was founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to give modern secular education primarily to “millat”, he said they stand by that commitment.

He said that AMU is now a leader in nano technology, which is going to be next revolution in the country. “Our nano technology scientists are harnessing power of nano material. They will usher in second green revolution in the country,” he added.

The vice chancellor has addressed the problem of hostel shortage, modernised kitchens and provided sports facilities, including an astro turf hockey ground. The university is now developing a golf course.

He said recycling of waste water without energy is another AMU achievement. “We get thousands of litres of waste water every day as we have 28,000 students. Our scientists have raised plants which absorb impurities and clean the water,” said Shah, who has made an offer to the prime minister to clean the Ganga and Yamuna rivers by using the same technology.

Shah said notwithstanding an Allahabad High Court judgment, which struck down some of the advantages the university was getting in terms of the AMU Act 1981, technically it is still a minority institution.

Disagreeing with the high court observation that the AMU was not financed and created by Muslims of India, he said Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College was founded by Sir Syed, which ultimately became a university in 1920. “We were financed and raised by Muslims of India. There are no doubts about it.”

“The Supreme Court has given a stay. We are going to a full bench to get the high court judgment struck down,” he said.

“Education in AMU is secular but its character will remain Islamic. You can’t do without it and there is no harm,” he said, adding that non-Muslim students live together and that most of them are medal winners as they try to prove that they are better.

Shah seeks help of alumni and the community to make the AMU a world-class university as government funds are enough to just “keep our heads above the water”.

He has given a slogan to alumni — “Your 100 is going to make 100 percent difference to your alma mater”. “If each alumni can contribute 100 in the currency of the country he or she lives in, it will make 100 percent difference.”

He plans to develop 103 smart classrooms by the end of the next academic year. Alumni is helping in building smart classrooms, which cost Rs.10 lakh each.