Jobs @ MG
Jamia Hamdard scaling new heights
By S Ubaidur Rahman
you believed that there are only two universities in Delhi, DU and JNU, you
are off the mark. Besides Jamia Millia Islamia, the capital’s newest
university is the Jamia Hamdard which has in store a big surprise for people
who visit the university in Tughlaqabad for the first time. The university
has one of the best purpose-built campuses in the capital and a calm and
clean environment that none can match.
Conceived as a centre of higher learning by the late Hakeem Abdul Hameed,
Jamia Hamdard came into existence when six educational institutions,
including the Indian Institute of Islamic Studies, were merged into a single
university in 1989. Now the university boasts of a number of faculties
ranging from medicine to IT, nursing to management.
The small educational institution has seen constant diversification and
enlargement. It will be wrong to brand the university as a centre of Unani
medicine alone, though this still forms the core of the university. ‘The
Unani system of medicine is still an important part of our efforts. We are
trying to popularize this system in the country and have been quite
successful. We have started standardization of the medicine and have
collaborated with Ranbaxy,’ says Jamia’s young vice chancellor Muhammad
Siraj. But it is only a part of the university, he adds. ‘Now we have an
excellent faculty of business management and technology. We offer best
courses in pharmacy and nursing. We have post graduate level courses in
pharmacy. In our science faculty we offer research facilities in as diverse
subjects as cloning and expression of mammalian genes, production of
hormones and other molecules of medical importance, molecular biology of
infectious diseases, natural product chemistry and bioactive natural
products, medical elementology, toxicology and biotechnology. We offer post
graduate courses in environmental botany, biochemistry, toxicology and
biotechnology. The department has laboratories of neuro-behavioural
toxicology, predictive toxicology and environmental monitoring,’ Siraj adds.
‘We also have a good management faculty that not only offers graduate and
post-graduate level courses in management but also courses in information
technology’, says the VC.
Situated in the midst of the historical Tughlaqbad, the monuments of Tughlaq
era, the campus provides an excellent educational environment to the
students. Inside the campus too, students have been provided with unmatched
educational and recreational facilities. Typical Muslim architectural
buildings, spread over a hundred acres of land, may give a visitor an idea
that Jamia is a conservative place. But you enter the campus and your
perception changes instantly. Students here are as modern as in any campus
in the capital and beyond.
They flaunt the modern lingo, wear trendy cloths and use the latest gizmos.
‘When someone hears of the Jamia Hamdard, he does not visualize more than
any institution imparting Unani education. But here even this system has
been transformed into an excellent medical college. There is much, much more
on offer’ says U Ghazi, a student of the BUMS. The sort of faculty, lab and
other facilities are available here for the BUMS students are rarely in a
large number of medical colleges imparting modern medicine education, says
Faiz, one of his classmates.
Usama Akram, an internee in the Majeedia Hospital of the college, is more
forthcoming. ‘We are given an opportunity by the college to join the
hospital even in the second year. The college has an state of the art
hospital with 24 hours emergency services which, with some exceptions, are
not available to any other university hospital in the country.
Most students here find Hamdard a better place to be than the JNU or the
Delhi University. Faculty members and authorities are unapproachable in
other universities. Here if I have a problem I can easily walk into the
dean’s office or even see the vice chancellor, says Malik Wasim, a PhD
scholar in the department of Islamic Studies. Unlike DU where one hears of
strikes every now and then, our university is serious about studies and the
teachers are extremely helpful, says a student of the pharmacy faculty.
Its a safer place to live than other campuses in the capital and
particularly for women, says Shahwala, a final year student of medicine. You
don’t hear about attacks on women like the JNU where despite high security
arrangements it is a routine incident, she adds. Here we don’t even confront
eve-teasing, says Shahwala wrapped in a large embroidered chadar.
A major difference between Delhi University, the JNU and the Hamdarad is
evident at the time of student union elections. Unlike other universities
where hockey sticks, knives and even fire-arms are used freely during the
election season, Hamdard remains peaceful largely because here no elections
are held for the student union, rather the office-bearers are nominated by
the vice chancellor and the faculty members.
‘Though it is not good that we don’t hold elections like other universities,
but our system is better since elections bring more harm to the educational
environment than any good. They politicize even student-student relations
and also the faculty, says a student in the faculty of pharmacy.
Last year an unfortunate incident marred the calm and cool environment of
the university. Salman, a second year student of the BUMS from Azamgarh, was
found hanging from a tree near the department of the medicine in mysterious
circumstances one morning. Furious over the ghastly incident, agitated
students went on strike. Education remained severely affected for many
It was before Siraj Ahmad, the current vice chancellor, took over. It seemed
that after the death of the late Hakeem Abdul Hameed saheb, the university
is heading towards anarchy. But the atmosphere cooled quickly and now
everything is in place. ‘He has also improved the functioning of every
faculty after taking over,’ says a student of the faculty of nursing.
The vice chancellor now regularly visits all the faculties and takes no
chances. Even irregular teachers now arrive on time, says a second year
student of the faculty of medicine. The vice chancellor is now trying to
teach discipline to the students and his staff alike who were left
rudderless during the tenure of the previous vice chancellor, Prof. Alauddin.
Things are rapidly changing in the campus, says Ubaidus Salam of faculty of
Clockwise: Faculty of Islamic Studies,
Late Hakim Abdul Hamid, Current Chancellor Saiyid Hamid, Hamdard Convention