Schoolchildren and university students of Jamia Millia Islamia joined by faculty members, teachers and officials today celebrated the 71st Independence Day at a colourful function on the campus. The main function was held on the Jamia Senior Secondary School premises where Chief Guest and Vice Chancellor Jamia Prof Talat Ahmad unfurled the tricolour with NCC cadets saluting the flag as the National anthem was played.
Maulana Azad National Urdu University celebrated the Independence Day by hoisting the national tricolour, students singing songs and screening of a documentary on luminaries of modern India. Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz, Vice-Chancellor, speaking with the students and staff following the flag hoisting asked them to develop positive attitude towards life. “Help others, shun selfishness,” he said.
A documentary on the freedom fighters and Independent India was presented. The film was conceived by Centre for Urdu Culture Studies and made by the Instructional Media Centre.
Students presented three songs — Saare Jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara by Iqbal; Urdu Zuban, Pyari Zuban by Ali Sardar Jafri and; the Urdu University song “Yeh Jamia-e-Zaban-e-Urdu” by Gulzar—to great applause by the audience.
MANUU Campus wore a festive look with the draping of Administrative Building and numerous trees with national flag colours.
The Jamia school premises wore a festive look with balloons, tricolours and flowers adding to the ambiance. Highlights of the cultural programme included qawwali and dance performances by schoolchildren as tiny tots from Mushir Fatma Nursery School set the tone by their beautiful rendition of patriotic songs.
Welcoming the guests, Dr Muzaffar Hassan, Principal, Jamia Senior Secondary School said freedom was the greatest gift while slavery was despicable. He told the children that freedom demands responsibility.
Delivering the Independence Day address, Prof Ahmad observed that India has made significant progress economically and in the fields of space satellites, communication, medical sciences and infrastructure since independence but there is scope for improvement, particularly in the field of education, research and innovation.
Prof Ahmad said that however for India to attain a leadership position in the fraternity of nations, we need to push beyond regular research and bring about innovations and out-of-box thinking. He also emphasized on the need to spread education especially in villages and added that universities and schools should focus on imparting quality education rather than education for the sake of it.
Prof Ahmad said that JMI has been working to improve research and teaching standards. The fact that JMI has done well in the MHRD’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) by scoring 6th among Central Universities and 12th position out of nearly 800 universities is a testimony to it.
Reminding the children about Jamia Millia Islamia’s rich nationalist past and its contribution to the freedom struggle especially by founding fathers of the university like Dr. Zakir Husain, he said, that “everyone knows that we are nationalists and there is no need to prove it”. He said that JMI has always contributed in the progress of the country right from the freedom struggle and asked students to carry forward this legacy.
As part of its service to the nation, the university has signed MoUs with the Indian Air force and Indian Navy which enables their personnel to pursue higher education at JMI. He added that a similar arrangement is in the offing with the Indian Army also.
Among those who attended the function were Registrar AP Siddiqui (IPS), Controller of Examinations Prof AAA Faizi, Director School, Prof Ilyas Husain, Deans, Heads of Departments, Directors of Centres, teachers and staff members of Jamia schools.
Qamar W. Naqvi, well-known personality in the TV news industry in the country, addressing the students said that there should be freedom of thought and expression and the purpose of education should be to help us distinguish between good and bad for the progress of society.