Aligarh: Eminent historian and reputed author, Dr Gail Minault, Professor Emerita from the Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin, USA will receive the Sir Syed Excellence Award 2020 with a cash prize of Rs two lakhs in the international category, while Anjuman-I-Islam, a premier Mumbai based educational conglomerate and social organisation of India will be conferred with the Sir Syed Excellence Award with a cash prize of Rs one lakh in the national category. The awards will be will be conferred on the recipients during the online Sir Syed Day commemorative function on October 17, 2020 to conform to the Government of India Guidelines on social distancing.
The announcement was made in a meeting of Sir Syed Day Celebration Committee by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor, who was presiding over the meeting through a video conference platform.
Professor Minault, who will receive the award in the international category is a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (1972) and has taught at The University of Texas since 1972. Her seminal work on the 19th and 20th century history of India, including religion, politics, intellectual and social history, and women’s movements is held in high esteem across the globe. She is a well known author on Islam in South Asia and has written highly acclaimed books such as The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (1982) and Secluded Scholars: Women’s Education and Muslim Reform in Colonial India (1997). She edited The Extended Family: Women and Political Participation in India and Pakistan (1981) and co-edited Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia (1982), Abul Kalan Azad: A Religious and Intellectual Biography (1988). She has also translated Voices of Silence (1986). Her latest work is Gender, Language and Learning: Essays in Indo-Muslim Cultural History (2009).
Educational conglomerate, Anjuman-I-Islam, headed by Dr Zahir I Kazi (President), which will receive the award in the national category was established in the year 1874, by a group of visionaries led by Justice Badruddin Tyabji. The organisation has a distinguished record of dedication and perseverance for the cause of education. They run more than 100 Institutions from pre-primary schools to graduate and postgraduate level including, College of Engineering, Polytechnics, Unani Medical College, College of Education, College of Commerce and Economics, Institute of Management Studies, College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, College of Home Science, School of Pharmacy and School of Architect. It has a high reputation of being a minority organization catering to the needs of more than 1.10 lacs students from various communities under its umbrella focussed on quality education, transparency and growth.
During the online Sir Syed Day celebrations, AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Mansoor will deliver the welcome address and the Registrar, Mr Abdul Hamid (IPS) will read the citations for the awardees.
The Innovation Council Awards will be conferred to the faculty members by the Vice Chancellor; while the Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Zaheeruddin will give the Young Phd Scholar Awards.
The proceedings of the day will begin with a Quran Khwani (Quranic Recitation) after the Fajr (Day Break) prayer at the University Mosque. The Vice Chancellor with faculty members and officers of the University will also pay a floral tribute at the Mazaar (grave) of Sir Syed following the traditional ritual of ‘Chadar Poshi’.
He will then inaugurate a virtual ‘Exhibition of Books and Photographs’ pertaining to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan at the Sir Syed House. The exhibition will be jointly organised by Maulana Azad Library and Sir Syed Academy.
The virtual programme will also feature acceptance speeches by the recipients of Sir Syed Excellence Awards. Two faculty members and two students will deliver speeches on the teachings, philosophy, works and mission of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
Prof Mujahid Beg, Dean Students’ Welfare will extend the vote of thanks followed by the University Tarana and the National Anthem.