At an impressive Annual Convocation function of Jamia Millia Islamia on Friday, a total of 4,627 degrees and diplomas were awarded to students who successfully completed M.Phil., Post-graduation, Graduation and Diploma courses in 2015.
Union Minister of State for HRD (Higher Education) Mahendra Nath Pandey was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Gold medals were also presented to 169 toppers by the Minister, along with AIIMS Director Professor M.C. Misra, who was the Guest of Honour and Chancellor of the University, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) M. A. Zaki.
Two hundred sixty three Ph. D. degrees were awarded to research scholars, whose results were notified up to October 2016,
Addressing the gathering, Minister Pandey expressed his happiness that the convocation coincided with the ‘National Education Day’ celebrations commemorating the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna and first Education Minister of Independent India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
Alluding to the rich history of Jamia, he lauded the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jauharand Hakim Ajmal Khan in establishing the university in 1920.
Drawing a distinction between institutions set up in pre and post-Independence India, he said the early institutions, like Jami and Kashi Vidyapeeth, were set up to carry forward the Indian culture as well as imbibe modern education and inculcate a spirit of participation among the youth in the Independence struggle.
The Minister said Maulana Azad, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, laid the foundation of the education system in India and were instrumental in the formation of UGC and IITs.
“Azad’s contributions will be remembered for ever,” Pandey said.
The Minister said Islam encourages education for both boys and girls and even emphasises on travelling to far-off lands to acquire education.
He congratulated Jamia’s nine faculties for the impressive progress registered by them in the last few years through research in critical and contemporary subjects.
Calling Jamia “the finest example in the country of an institution where tradition meets modernity”, he hailed the university for establishing more than 30 research centres and for starting a Department of Sanskrit and Climate Change and Disaster Management.
Taking about Jamia turning 100 by 2020, the Minister assured of possible assistance to the university.
Referring to the recent demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, the Minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision would help the young generation in fulfilling their aspirations as the move will help in curbing black money.
AIIMS chief Professor M.C. Misra asked students to adopt a lifestyle that is in tune with Indian culture and not to blindly follow the West.
Enumerating that the incidence of cancers and other life threatening diseases have been much lower in India than in the western countries, he said: “We must follow a lifestyle that includes exercises and yoga to remain healthy.”
He said a campaign on the lines of Swachch Bharat to minimise the use of antibiotics was much needed.
Prof. Misra called upon the students to develop leadership qualities and be professionally competent.
Delivering the Vice-Chancellor’s Address, Jamia Vice Chancellor Professor Talat Ahmad enlisted the achievements of the university in the last one year and said Jamia was “girding up to begin a new innings as it was nearing its centenary year in 2020.”
He asked the HRD and the UGC for all help to the university as it completes 100 years.
The function was also attended by University’s Chancellor Lt. Gen. (Retd.) M. A. Zaki, , Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Shahid Ashraf, Registrar Mr. A. P. Siddiqui, I.P.S. , Deans, Heads of Departments and Directors of Centres, faculty members and students.
Former Vice Chancellor Shahid Mahdi and members of the diplomatic core were among the dignitaries who were present at the convocation.