Duty Society AMU Celebrates its 125th year at Plenary Hall, Vigyan Bhawan New Delhi on 29th July, 2016 where Mr. M. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India was the Chief Guest
The Duty Society of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), which was founded a quarter of century before establishment of AMU, celebrated 125th year at a function on Friday, 29th July, 2016 at Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, where Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Mr. M Hamid Ansari was the Chief Guest.
The inaugural session was followed by a seminar on Educational Development of Weaker Sections in India. The Duty Society, a registered voluntary organization, had raised Rs. 30 lakh to establish AMU in 1920. This society has played very significant role in the development of this university whose alumni are spread all over the world occupying good position. A good number of these alumni have benefited from the activities of the society in one way or the other.
Prof. P. Manchanda introducing the Chief Guest Mr. Hamid Ansari, Vice-President of India said he is an alumnus of AMU, who started his career as a lecturer in Political Science in his alma-mater and subsequently was selected in Indian Foreign Services. She said prior to his election as the Vice-President of India in 2007, he has held several prestigious assignments such as High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, permanent representative to the United Nations and Chief Protocol Govt. of India.
Inviting Prof. Siddiqi Keeper Duty Society to deliver welcome address the comparer, Prof. P. Manchanda said he is a distinguished mathematician who has contributed a lot to the Duty Society since his election as its Keeper. His achievements are recorded in the article by Professor Mohd. Shafi former Pro-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Siddiqi welcomed all delegates from different parts of India and abroad, the Chancellor, Sharda University Mr. P.K. Gupta, and the Chief Guest, Vice-President of India. He concluded his address by making a suggestion for future generation of the Duty Society which is summarized as “The Society must focus on creating a nucleus for providing education and training of emerging technologies creating job opportunities and prosperity to weaker sections of India”.
Dr. Nadeem Tarin, President of the Duty Society who is a well-known Philanthropist and a Civil Engineer based in Saudi Arabia, emphasized in his speech to expand the role of Duty Society. In his dynamic leadership and guidance the society may achieve the above mentioned academic goal, besides completion of his own pet project construction of Riyadh Hall at AMU, Campus.
Dr. Nadeem Tarin presented an updated version of the Duty Society Centenary volume to the Vice-President. It may be mentioned that the centenary function of the society was organized at Vigyan Bhawan in 1989 the centenary volume entitled Aligarh Muslim University contributions and achievements was release on that occasion. It was a modest effort to record contribution and achievements of persons associated with AMU over time. The book presented to the Hon’ble Vice-President of India is the 2014 updated edition of the centenary volume. This book has been completed by a group of dedicated professors under the guidance of the Editorial Advisory Board chaired by the Vice-Chancellor AMU, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah.
Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Mr. Hamid Ansari delivered very interesting and useful speech based on fact and figures from authentic sources while inaugurating seminar on “Educational Development of Weaker Sections in India”, organized on the occasion of Duty Society 125th anniversary function. Quoting from a speech by the Union Human Resource Minister in March 2014, he said that 6.064 million children in the country were out of school in 2014 and of these, 76 percent belong to the Schedule Tribe, Schedule Cast and religious minorities.
Citing another report by a committee framing the new education policy set up by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, Mr. Ansari said while enrolment in elementary education was high, the quality and learning outcomes where poor. Data showed, he added, that Muslims form the smallest percentage among those who had completed matriculation. The Hon’ble Vice-President asserted that this sorry state of education in the country could not be improved without joint effort of govt. and all segments of our nation. He congratulated the Duty Society for constantly working towards the improvement of the state of education in the country.
During his speech he emphasized that education is a fundamental pre condition for democracy. Providing knowledge education is instrumental for any individual's personal and political development.” The quality of education depends on elementary education. While equality of status and opportunity contribute to nation building and a humanitarian society, education is a fundamental precondition of political democracy.
Vice President Hamid Ansari said that in today's India where the operative slogan is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas', educational progress starting with quality elementary, secondary and skills education is imperative if all segments of society have to be together.
He further said that the lofty ideals enshrined in our Constitution are realizable only through equality of status and opportunity which, in turn, are contingent on an educated citizen body. Mr. Ansari made it clear that despite the initiatives of successive governments, the corrective in its totality cannot come from the government alone and has to be supported and supplemented by public and community initiatives.
He lamented that lack of community level effort is particularly noticeable amongst the Muslims.
He concluded his speech by reciting a couplet by famous poet Mohd Iqbal. The members of Duty Society feel proud that its first Keeper Prof. T.W. Arnold was a favourite teacher of Dr. Iqbal.
A dozen of eminent scholars participated in the seminar, notable are Dr. Bhagiratha Prasad, IAS (Retd.) member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) member advisory committee HRD Ex. VC, Indore University, M.P; Dr. Talat Ahmad, VC, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi; Dr. Jaspal Singh, VC, Punjabi University, Patiala; Prof. D.P. Agrawal, Ex. Chairman, UPSC; Prof. NK Gupta, Ex. Vice President, Indian National Science Academy (INSA); Dr. S Siraj Hasan, Ex. Director, Institute of Astro-physics, Bangalore; Prof. Majaj Moonis, Director, Stroke Services, Massachusetts, USA; Dr. Abdullah, Washington DC, USA; Dr. Ameer Ahmad, Dubai; Mr. Zafar Sareswala, Industrialist; Prof. P. Manchanda, (Secretary ISIAM), HOD of the Department of Mathematics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. All persons mentioned above are expert in their own field and all of them tried to relate his or her activities with the themes of the seminar. In the nutshell everyone agrees that something should be done for this category of people in our country. The general feeling is that society should appoint a committee to review the possible projects which can be adopted by the society.
Lt. General (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University and Brig. (Retd.) Syed Ahmad Ali, Pro Vice Chancellor, AMU where present throughout the programme and made valuable comments. The programme was concluded by melodious poetic presentation with light music of poetry by eminent poets associated with Aligarh Muslim University, Chancellor MANUU University, Mr. Zafar Sareswala was present in the programme till the last moment.
Functionaries of the Duty Society thank persons from different institutions such as AMU, JMI, Jamia Hamdard, Sharda University, Gautam Budha University, Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University, Punjabi University & Guru Nanak Dev University, who have extended valuable help to organize 125th anniversary function.