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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Community News: 

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ILL-MANAGED MUSLIM COLLEGES OF AGRA
Agra: Peeved at the Muslim apathy towards academic institutions, Haji Jamiluddin Qureshi, principal of Shoaibia College said there are four Muslim colleges in Agra but Muslims themselves do not care about their improvement. In order to upgrade Muslim education, Maulana Saeed Ahmad and Maulana Muhammad Shoaib had founded Shoaib Muhammadia Anglo-Oriental College in 1916. The college has a minority status. But for the last five years no responsible Muslim of Agra has bothered to review the educational and financial condition of the colleges. Similar is story of Saghir Fatima Girls Inter College and two other colleges. 

Coming down heavily on the Muslim tendency, Qureshi said Muslims admit their children in westernised institutions and pay huge donations and fees whereas these Muslim institutions which have produced great literateurs are butts of their criticism. There is need to forget our internal differences and work together for Muslim education.

JMI TEACHERS ASK VC TO COPE WITH CAT
New Delhi: Regarding UGC’s recent decision to hold common admission test (CAT), Jamia Millia Islamia Teachers Union has asked its Vice Chancellor to intervene in the matter. According to the Teachers Union the Constitution gives right to the university to hold admission tests for all courses. The university law has been framed on the basis of Teachers Union Parliament which gives authority to the university to take students admission. It is the VC’s responsibility to implement various sub-sections given in the Act. The teachers on the basis of the law, have demanded the VC to act. They have also called the proposed UGC’s CAT order against the autonomous status of the university.

HAMDARD HOLDS INDIAN BOTANICAL CONFERENCE
New Delhi: Jamia Hamdard in collaboration with the Ranbaxy Laborities organised the annual conference of the Indian Botanical Society. DS Brar, managing director of Ranbaxy was the chief guest. Brar praised the coordination of Jamia Hamdard and Rabaxy and called it as an ideal example for all Indian universities. About 300 delegates and scientists attended the conference.

AMU STUDENTS FORM COMMITTEE TO RESIST CAT
Aligarh: In order to deal with the UGC’s circular regarding common admission test (CAT), students of Aligarh Muslim University have formed an 80-member Action Committee. The students will now take on the streets of Delhi. 

An important meeting of senior AMU students was held in Union Hall where an action committee was formed to oppose the CAT order. The committee comprises of five senior students from every hall. A notice regarding its formation has been sent to Proctor’s office and now the members are contacting students of other universities to prepare their action plan.

EDUCATION PROMOTES CULTURAL VALUES
New Delhi: Hamdard Education Society, Talimabad conducted its fourth teachers training programme on promotion of culture and values through education. Dr Tahir Mahmood, former chairman of Minorities Commission said every religious community has the fundamental right to preserve its culture. Hence Muslims too have the constitutional right to preserve thier Islamic culture. Saiyid Hamid said the world followed Muslims when they took the lead in education, but when they gave up education they became backward. Educational backwardness brings all misfortunes with it, he said. Prof Shafiq Ahmad Khan Nadwi spoke about teaching of Arabic language and literature.

FARHAT’S POETIC COLLECTION RELEASED
Aligarh: Main Rona Chahta Hoon (Let me cry), a poetic collection by Farhat Ehsas was released here by Prof Shahrayar on January 18. Prof Shahrayar lauded the author’s creativity and described him as a unique poet of a variety of tastes and expressions. The book release function was organised by Prof Khurshid Ahmad and Dr Saghir Ifrahim of the Urdu department at the Arts Faculty lounge of Aligarh Muslim University. Presiding over the meeting, Prof Abul Kalam Qasmi hailed Farhat’s scholarship and called him a genuine poet.

MINISTER CENSURED OVER UNDUE REMARK
Lucknow: Irate by the remark of Uttar Pradesh Waqf Minister, Shakir Ali, some Muslim bodies have demanded the UP chief minister to clear his stand on the minister’s defamatory remarks against the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and a senior member of it. 
Ali is reported to have called Zafaryab Jilani as a ‘blackmailer’ and ‘tout’. Jilani, convenor of the Babri Masjid Action Committee has served a legal notice to Ali to institute criminal proceedings against him. The minister, however, has denied any defamatory statement

MISMANAGEMENT SCUTTLES JOURNEY TO MAKKAH
Lucknow: The hollow claims of better management of the Central Haj Committee was exposed when more than three dozen prospective Haj pilgrims could not fly to Makkah. The angry kin of the Haj pilgrims gave a bit of their mind to the office bearers of Haj Committee here at Nadwatul Ulama on January 21. Who those pilgrims were? Why were they not allowed to fly? When these questions were asked, the officers instead of giving their reply closed the camp office and went away only to create unrest. While the chairman of Uttar Pradesh Haj Committee and Minorities Welfare Minister, Haji Yaqub himself went for Haj by the last flight, there was none to care the 42 Haj pilgrims who could not perform Haj due to mismanagement of Haj Committee officials.

RECEPTION TO SYED ASHRAF
Aligarh: The works of Syed Muhammad Ashraf, income tax commissioner and a noted litterateur, reflect the pain of Muslims. They give the twinge of India’s partition and what befell Muslims thereafter. These views were expressed by Prof Gopi Chand Narang, president of Sahitya Akademi. He was speaking at a reception programme given by Chartered Accountant Association to Syed Muhammad Ashraf on receipt of Sahitya Akademi Award on his book Baad-e-Saba Ka Intizar (Longing for the morning breeze). Hailing his works Naranag described Ashraf as the torch-bearer of India’s composite culture. Social activist and convenor of the Association, Mukund Hari Singhal said Ashraf has bared his heart in his writing without any hesitation. His writings speak volumes of his patriotism, he said. Ashraf and his wife were presented memento on this occasion.

MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP 
Tanda (Faizabad): Granted by the Department of Minority Welfare about 4 lakh rupees were distributed among minority students as scholarships for the financial year 2003-04 during a function here at National Inter College. District vice-president of Samajwadi Party, Haji Iftikhar Ansari and others were present on this occasion.

RAZA LIBRARY TO PRESERVE OLD MANUSCRIPTS
Rampur: Department of Culture, Government of India has given the responsibility of collecting and preserving Arabic and Persian manuscripts to Raza Library of Rampur, Uttar Pradesh. A meeting in this regard was convened recently which was attended by prominent figures who welcomed the government’s initiative. OSD, Dr Waqarul Hasan Siddiqui said India has the largest collection of manuscripts in the world. There is an urgent need to preserve them. 

According to a survey there are more then 50 lakh manuscripts in India, librarian Dr Abu Sa’d Islahi said. There are about 6,000 manuscripts in the libraries of Western countries whereas 1,50000 manuscripts are in the libraries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. Out of the 50 lakh manuscripts, we have the record of only 10 lakh, Dr Islahi said. These include 67 percent of Sanskrit, 8 percent of Arabic and Persian and 25 percent of other languages. Of these too only 25 percent can be categorised, he said. These include 18,000 in Raza Library, 20,000 in Khuda Bakhsh Library, Patna, 32,000 in Asiatic Society, Kolkata, and 10,000 in Salar Jang Museum besides 12,000 in Aligarh Muslims University, 10,000 in Banaras Hindu University, 6,000 in Osmania University and 4,000 in Patna University. He said the purpose of the National Mission for Manuscripts is not only to collect and preserve but also to create awareness about them and unfold the hidden treasure of manuscripts to the masses.
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