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

Nakadar: ‘educational planning is essential’
Dr AR NakadarIn the previous issue we carried a report about the institute Dr AR Nakadar has established in Gujarat. Here our correspondent Altaf Mohammed Abid talks to him about the project and his mission.

Why and when did you feel the need to set up Dr Nakadar Institute of Knowledge?
For the past three decades, Dr Nakadar Gold Medal has been awarded to a deserving and meritorious student. That tradition has been continued till today. However, I felt that after I am gone, I wanted my message of education and development of the community to continue. The only way to perpetuate it is to institutionalize my thoughts and ideas. The idea of Dr Nakadar Institute of Knowledge was then conceptualized. Another thing, there seems to be no space for education planning in our lives. Planning our children’s education is essential. In fact, it should be of prime importance. The 14 to 15 year education plan will add a zing and a strong foundation for a healthy all-round development of a child. It is the responsibility of the parent. All these factors played an integral role in setting up NIK.

What are the plans and the vision for NIK?
We have decided to start the primary section at NIK, this year. In due course of time, we will have a full-fledged school till class 12. We have envisioned this fledgling institute to ultimately become a seat of higher learning. Inshallah, a university, in the next 25 years. Gujarat has over 180 minority primary and secondary schools; however, there is not a single institute of higher learning for Muslims. We envisage an institute on the lines of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Hamdard. At the moment, right on top of our agenda is an institute for technical education and a hostel for students. This will create the right ambience for gaining knowledge in the tranquil settings of this campus. We currently have 23 acres of land and plans are afoot to purchase another 30 acres in the next four to five years. 

Why did you choose Nandasan as a location for the NIK campus?
The fact that its proximity to my birthplace was the deciding factor in choosing the location. There is a sense of belonging and fulfillment. It is personal. It is time I gave back something to my village, to my people. I feel good about it. Another decisive factor in choosing the location is that 70 percent of India’s people live in villages. Quality education at the grassroots level is imperative. Away from the maddening crowds of the city, it is essential to create the right, purposeful atmosphere for imparting education. On another level, it will also help bridge the dividing chasm between rural and urban India.

Will the school provide free education to the Muslim masses?
No. I do not believe in free education. The school will operate on a cost-basis. We will have an international faculty which will spend most of their time on the campus. A student will be exposed to the international experience through his exchanges with the visiting faculty.

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