Aligarh : “We must remember the last message of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who urged his associates to carry the light of MAO College, far and wide, till darkness disappears from all around” said Prof Dr Ashok Seth, the reputed cardiologist, and chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, while addressing the World Alumni Virtual Meet 2021 of Aligarh Muslim University as chief guest.
In his inspirational speech Dr Ashok Seth highlighted the bond that Aligarh fraternity shares and exhorted them to contribute to the betterment of the institution in every possible way.
“The message of Sir Syed still echoes ‘there was criticism all around against me, life had become so difficult for me that I aged before my age. I lost my hair, my eyesight, but not my vision. My vision never dimmed. My determination never failed”, said Dr Seth.
He added: “we represent one of the greatest seats of learning in the whole world. We have a lot of responsibility because we are Aligarians. We should give to our alma mater, whether it is funding, infrastructure, finances, research, placement, creating scholarships or free education, all of us should take part in it”.
He pointed out, “we can transform Aligarh Muslim University into one of the biggest research universities of the world by sincerely working together”.
Highlighting his Aligarh connect, Prof Seth said AMU not only imparts education but also inculcates Tehzeeb and elegance in her pupil.
“The conduct of the AMU fraternity was exemplary in the Covid-19 pandemic which was a greatest catastrophe. They extended help not only in Aligarh but also in every nook and corner of the country. I commend the leadership of Vice Chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor who contributes to the excellence of the university “, concluded Dr Ashok Seth.
In his presidential remarks Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice Chancellor, AMU expressed his commitment to strengthen the alumni network across the globe. “The Alumni help us on several fronts including accreditation, perception building, and students’ mentoring among others. The Alumni Affairs Committee will work closely with the Training and placement office of the university so that the expertise of the alumni can be used to enrich students and prepare them for suitable career choices”, emphasised Prof Mansoor.
He pointed out that despite the challenges posed by Covid pandemic, a number of courses have been started including DM Cardiology, MCH Neurosurgery, two B Tech and two Masters Courses. Two new Colleges and three new centres have also been established.
Prof Mansoor mentioned the four special programmes-Alig Connect app, updation of Alumni directory, Aligs Academic Enrichment Programme (AAEP), and Kashish- that are currently being executed in collaboration with the alumni.
He also appreciated the contributions of AMU alumni in upgrading the medical and non-medical infrastructure of the university.
Earlier Prof Talat Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Srinagar addressed the event as guest of honour. He said Sir Syed made Aligarh an educational hub whose beneficiaries are spread throughout the world.
Describing the fundamental values of AMU and its learning setup, Prof Talat Ahmad said, in 1972 AMU had a choice based credit system which has been recommended now by the National Educational Policy 2020. Similarly, Sir Syed’s project of translating books of modern knowledge into Indian languages under the Scientific Society has now been adopted by NEP in the concept of imparting education in mother tongue.
Discussing the theme of the Meet “opportunities and challenges in the post-pandemic era” he said, AMU should focus on research and should maintain the status of a research university, so that students get more opportunities and teachers must train to become techno-savvy as hybrid or dual mode of teaching is the new normal.
He also appreciated the activities of the Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) and advocated for providing coaching for all public sector jobs.
Dr Shaheer Khan, Founder of AMU Network, San Francisco, USA said, 2020 and 2021 have been the most challenging years owing to Covid pandemic, though innovative technologies came to the rescue. With this the Alig community came forward to help out the affected people. “It will require persistent efforts to do away with the damage done to underprivileged sections of the society by the Covid-19”, he added.
“Partially this is about humanitarian considerations. But it is also about investing for the future”, he emphasized.
Er Faisal Saleem, SMARTDrive Program Manager, Phoenix, USA, and former captain of the AMU Tennis Club, said AMU has contributed tremendously in sports and Zafar Iqbal, one of its prominent alumni was the flag bearer of the Indian contingent in the Los Angeles Olympics 1984.
“AMU should revive the old glory and nurture sports talent in the backdrop of the government of India’s “Khelo India” policy”, he pointed out.
Mr Saleem described the contributions of the USA based alumni in knowledge sharing under the Aligs Academic Enrichment Programme and Alig DigiEd pilot project.
Guest of honour Miss Huma Khalil, author, translator and filmmaker eloquently spoke about the unique poetic ambience of AMU and cultural traditions of Aligarh, the city of joy.
Quoting from Iqbal to Altaf Hussain Hali and Hasrat Mohani to Majaz and Josh, she said “the 150 years old poetic milieu of Aligarh owes a lot to AMU”.
Miss Huma Khalil narrated the background of “The Allure of Aligarh: A Poetic Journey into the University City”, a book written by her.
Earlier welcoming the guests and participants of the programme, Prof MM Sufyan Beg, Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee, said, alumni are an integral part of any academic institution and among other things they have to contribute immensely to the ranking and accreditation of the university.
“During the pandemic, the global AMU alumni raised upto Rs 1.73 crores to help the AMU procure an Oxygen plant to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the two provided by the PMCares Fund, developed a Paediatric ICU, and procured dialysis machine and other essential medical equipment”, he pointed out.
Prof Mohammad Mobin, Vice Chairman, Alumni Affairs Committee proposed the vote of thanks, while Dr Faiza Abbasi conducted the programme.
Mementoes were presented to the Chief Guest and Guests of Honour.
Prof Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman University Treasurer, Mr Mujib Ullah Zuberi, Controller of Examinations, Prof Mohd Mohsin Khan, Finance Officer, Prof Mohd Wasim Ali, Proctor, Prof Mujahid Beg, Dean Students’ Welfare, Professor Afifullah Khan,OSD (Development), Dr Salma Shaheen, Principal, University Women’s Polytechnic, Mr S M Suroor Athar, Officiating Registrar, and other dignitaries attended the function.
The programme was also live streamed on YouTube.