Lateef Khan: The man behind Hyderabad’s free IIT and IAS coaching centre aimed at uplifting Muslim community

By Raqib Hameed Naik,

Hyderabad: For Mohammad Abdul Lateef Khan, 45, the low literacy rate among the Muslim community has been always a cause for concern. Born and raised up in the Mehdipatnam area of Hyderabad, Lateef often witnessed Muslim children dropping out of school at a very early age. And the ones who did manage to go to school could not maintain a balance between religious and modern education.

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He was on the verge of dropping out while studying in the first standard when his father, a soldier in the Army, died in an accident. Despite all the odds and the meagre income of his mother earned from stitching clothes, Lateef completed his primary education from a local school, then finished his intermediate studies from Anwarul- Uloom and later enrolled himself into Electrical engineering course of Muffakham Jah College of Engineering And Technology.

While enrolled in his first semester of engineering, Lateef then 19, thought of working on his concerns and come out with something concrete to address the issue of dropouts and help disadvantaged students take bigger and more confident strides in the field of education. To elevate the educational standard of the community, he opened MS Education Centre in Masab Tank locality of Hyderabad in a small two-room premise to provide coaching to students appearing in SSC, intermediate and Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) exams.

“When I took admission in the first semester of the engineering course, I remember how me and my friend sat in front of a mosque after finishing prayers to give a thought about the less fortunate people who couldn’t get admission in such colleges, we got,” recalls Mohammad Abdul Lateef Khan, now the chairman and Managing Director of MS Education Academy.

The initiative was taken by 35 students along with Lateef, who later went to their respective careers after graduating from the college. In the very first year, three students from the centre made their way into medicine.

“In 1993, despite financial challenges and limited resources, we rented more space in Masab Tank and paid more emphasis on academic performance,” he said.

The number of students from MS Educational Academy who made their way among toppers in every field either  SSC, Intermediate or EAMCET exams rose every year. In 2000, MS Education Academy took another leap by starting MS Creative school at Humayun Nagar for the playgroup to grade one age group in order to improve learning skills from the beginning of a student’s career. A year after, the Academy established MS Junior college with a vision to produce Muslim toppers.

“We introduced Islamic studies in the curriculum of the college to guide the students in their daily lives for the success hereafter,” Lateef informed.

In 2004, the Academy established MS Junior college for girls at Moghlapura to provide a safe, secure and competitive environment for Muslim girls to succeed and also established MS Educational centre near Charminar to provide easy access to quality education for the underprivileged section of the community.

“In the very first year of establishing the girl’s college, the first time in the history of Andhra Pradesh, a Muslim girl from Hyderabad secured state first rank. She had scored 985/1000 marks in 12th board exams and then CM, Late Dr YSR Reddy visited the college and announced 4.5% reservation for Muslim community from the dais of college.”

Started from a two-room rented accommodation in 1991, the MS Educational Academy went on to establish 72 branches from playgroup and KG (Kindergarten) to UG (Undergraduate), spread across four states; Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Now, t has more than 20,000 students on its rolls, 2,500 staff and an alumni network of more than 50,000 people.

The orphans and students who have received their education from Islamic seminaries and want to go for modern education are given a fee waiver of 50% in MS schools and colleges.

“MS works on the grass-root level to provide well-balanced modern and Islamic Education while creating opportunities and imbibing values. It propels Muslim students ahead in the competition making them all, as leaders and achievers,” he explained in a conversation with

Apart from opening schools and colleges, Lateef also established the MS Research Foundation (MSRF) in 2011 to Islamise the modern syllabus and customise it as per the Islamic point of view.

The MSRF comprises of a team of research scholars from education, history, Islamic studies, child psychology and other subjects. These scholars perform active research on set objectives and the result of these researches culminates in the form of value-based curriculum with the integration of modern and Islamic education in every sphere, textbooks and teaching methodology. It also works on the planning of academics including the methodology, assessment, behavioural monitoring.

To let more Muslim students crack the prestigious IIT exam especially the ones who couldn’t do so due to financial constraints, in 2012 MS Rahmani 30 was started in Hyderabad taking a cue from popular Rahmani 30 coaching programme.

“The sole purpose of taking this initiative was to bring out the hidden talent of the poor Muslim students and help them achieve bigger goals in life- to propel them into IITs. The students are given everything for free with a Rs 1,000 stipend per month,” Lateef informed.

Earlier this year in March, MS took another initiative of starting a free IAS Residential Coaching Academy to mentor and train the Muslim youths for the prestigious examination.

“The picture of Muslims in government related employment is quite grim. The numbers are too low especially when it comes to IAS, IFS and IPS. If we want to become a part of the mainstream and become an asset of the country, we need to start contributing and representing in every sphere. We have to sharpen our axe to carve a niche for ourselves,” Khan added.

Confident about bringing a complete transformation, Lateef has launched a campaign “Learn for India” in 2016 to achieve 100% literacy in the community by 2036. The free IAS Academy is also the part of this campaign. Besides, Khan has also introduced the concept of “Each one Teach one”.

“To remove illiteracy from the society, we have started this concept. Under this program if one person will teach one illiterate person in one year, then we can easily make one billion people literate in 20 years,” he said.

He further added, “we will focus on three broad terms viz, Must, Master and Magic, which means Muslims as assets, Muslims as contributors and Muslims as global citizens respectively and inshallah we are sure that we will be able to achieve the target.”