Aligarh: “Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is in my bloodstream. I attended the STS School and later joined the University for an Engineering Degree and what I learnt at AMU, within the classrooms and on the beautiful campus, has powerfully and indelibly shaped my thinking and my career,” said Dr Hasan Kamil, Chair of the Board at University of California, Santa Cruz, USA.
He was speaking as the Chief Guest of the online Centenary Alumni Meet-2021.
I fondly remember how my history teacher, Tauqueer Sahab at Minto Circle (STS School) use to encourage me for achieving the best in life.
Speaking on how Covid-19 pandemic has impacted global higher education, Dr Kamil pointed out that the landscape for higher education is always evolving. In the past year, the pandemic has catalyzed unprecedented levels of change, leaving many students with the same question: what will the future of college look like?
“Several trends have emerged that foreshadow what might be next for higher education. One of the most notable changes is the mass transition to online learning. From four-year schools to trade programs and community colleges, every type of higher education institution is being impacted by this shift to online learning,” he said.
Dr Kamil added: “Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, many universities lost a lot of funds, but the pandemic accelerated new technological methods for imparting education. While some universities are operating completely online, some have adopted the hybrid models of online-offline education.”
He emphasised that the universities adopting new technologies will succeed, while the other will fail.
Dr Kamil spoke of how virtual reality method is used in medical education and how 3D printing allows educators to design rich learning experiences for deep theoretical constructs that bring learning from computer screens into students’ hands.
“AMU can also adopt these new technological trends and I am glad that serious efforts are being made at the University,” he added.
Dr Kamil stressed the need to powerfully mobilise alumni, and engage them on the university’s ambitious plans.
“The alumni are most potent assets, and best brand ambassadors for universities. I think, the alumni connection with their alma mater has a long way to go – alumni have significant work to do in building the brand of their alma mater,” he asserted.
In the presidential address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said, “Alumni are our source of strength. They have supported us in times of crisis.”
He added that the university stands proud of the alumni’s achievements.
“It is a matter of pride for us that Prof Hasan Kamil’s Centre at San Francisco is not only helping the Indian community, but also people of other nationalities; our alumna, Prof Najma Akhtar has brought laurels by becoming the first-ever woman Vice Chancellor of a Central University in India; Mr Tariq Chauhan helped scores of our students with employment, Mr Mahbubul Hoque is doing tremendous work to educate the underprivileged in the North-East and Mr Noorul Hasan, a fine IPS officer with a brilliant academic record is inspiring students to qualify UPSC exams,” emphasised the Vice Chancellor.
Prof Mansoor stressed that he is taking forward the hard work of previous Vice Chancellors Prof P K Abdul Azis and Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (Veteran) in strengthening ties with the alumni.
He pointed out that AMU Alumni Directory 2020 will help us to connect with alumni as a family.
The Vice Chancellor, who also released the Alumni Directory on the occasion said, “It is just the beginning of a long journey. The Digital edition of the directory available online will act as a smart way of reaching out to the alumni”.
He further spoke on the role of J N Medical College (JNMC) in the fight against Covid-19.
“We are not only inoculating people to keep the virus at bay, but our health workers are working day and night as frontline warriors in the fight against the Coronavirus,” said Prof Mansoor.
Attending the programme as one of the Guests-of Honour, Prof Najma Akhtar (Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia) said: “Alumni, in general, greatly love the universities they have graduated from. The emotive attachment to our alma mater is typically far stronger than our attachment to any other brand in our life. It has emotions of pride, happiness, gratitude and nostalgia.”
She spoke about how education and work in AMU taught her to carry out administrative assignments in an efficient way and how Jamia Millia Islamia traces its roots from AMU.
“Many of Jamia faculty members and students are AMU alumni”, she said calling out for strong bond of AMU and Jamia through alumni association chapters.
Eminent UAE based entrepreneur, Mr Tariq Chauhan spoke on the values and resilience that he learnt during his student life at AMU.
He pointed out that AMU taught him the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events.
Mr Chauhan further said that he would not have been able to build a billion-dollar business without the AMU pass-outs, who joined his enterprise as employees.
He stressed the need to bring on board all alumni at the best positions to create a knowledge sharing platform.
Mr Chauhan assured support to AMU in terms of infrastructure and knowledge.
“Please consider me as a useful source. I will always remain a proud AMU student,” emphasised Mr Chauhan.
Guest-of- Honour, Mr Noorul Hasan (IPS) credited the guidance provided by AMU faculty members for his success.
“My teachers at AMU taught me how to chase dreams and the University provided me with the necessary scholarships,” he said adding that it is imperative to payback to alma mater in whatever ways we can.
Mr Noorul, who has launched a website and a youtube channel to prepare AMU students for civil services, urged the alumni community to visit his portal.
“At our website, freeacademy.org—more than 100 civil servants have delivered free lectures”, he said.
Mr Mahbubul Hoque (Chancellor, University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya-USTM) said we at the USTM aspire to turn our university into a world-class centre of higher learning and we appeal the AMU alumni to join us in our endeavour.
He spoke on the USTM MoUs with the leading educational centres and the support extended by AMU alumni and faculty members.
Mr Hoque emphasised that the biggest inspiration one can take from the life of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is of ‘institution building’.
“I learnt ‘institution building’ at AMU and I have tried to carry forward the vision of Sir Syed”, said Mr Hoque.
In the welcome address, Prof M M Sufyan Beg (Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee) said that Alumni Directory has country wise and city wise details of alumni in alphabetical order.
“100 copies of the Directory have been printed. The soft copy is available online”, pointed out.
Prof M M Sufyan added that the later versions of the Director will come in two volumes and information on alumni associations, history, main members and contributions will also be compiled.
He urged the alumni community to register at AligConnect.com, also available on IOS and Android apps.
Prof M M Sufyan also spoke on the Alumni Endowment Fund, Kashish (Children of Alumni Bonding Programme) and Alig Academic Enrichment Programme.
Prof Mohammad Mobin (Vice Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee) extended the vote of thanks and Dr Faiza Abbassi conducted the programme.
‘Nostalgia’, a short film showing a wistful old boy visiting AMU with the unobtrusive accompaniment of soulful, instrumental music of the University Tarana by Mir Akhtar Husain, will also be screened on the occasion.