Jamia vice chancellor Professor Talat Ahmad took part at Idea Exchange organised by Indian Express. He spoke on various issues related to the campus from minority character to students’ union election to convocation invite to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and more.
Indian Express in its today’s edition carried his interview full page. Excerpts:
Ahmad defends the institution’s minority status, says students participating in protests are a “natural process”, and asserts that despite the controversy, he is ready to invite PM Modi for the convocation ceremony next year too.
Before joining Jamia in May 2014, Ahmad, an Earth scientist of global repute, was V-C University of Kashmir. An alumnus of AMU, JNU, Leicester University and Cambridge University, he served the Kashmir University for three years. Since taking guard of Jamia, the university has introduced a few new courses and has established itself a leader in implementing HRD Ministry’s Gyan under which foreign experts are visiting the campus and interacting with Jamia researchers improving the existing the high education standards available on the campus.
To a question to ABANTIKA GHOSH: Why is the minority status so important to Jamia? Professor Ahamd said: “I would say that I have inherited this. There are some important factors about Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University in terms of our character, that our mandate is to try and educate people who have not been doing so well earlier, particularly the minorities, and the Constitution allows you to do that. Even if there is a minority institution, it is still open for everybody. There will be 50 per cent reservation for (minority) students, but that too is through competition and not for everybody. Last year, we had 1.5 lakh applicants for 6,000 seats.
“We also need to examine the social structure of our country. Why these people (minorities), particularly the Muslims, have not risen, why have they not been encouraged to pursue their education. Some form of special help is needed to encourage them to be like the others, we need to teach them and bring them on a par with the others. St Stephen’s and Khalsa College (both Delhi University) too are minority institutions and there is a provision for such institutions in the Constitution.”
Full interview has appeared here: http://epaper.indianexpress.com/781114/Indian-Express/17-April-2016#page/10/2