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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


The Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA) on 4 December 04 in Gresham,(US) offered Prof. Ram Puniyani its 2004 award. Dr. Puniyani, a Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Mumbai, has decided to quit his job to pursue full-time commitment, what he has been doing for the last two decades, that is working to check the recent rise of fundamentalism and fascism in India and to promote communal harmony and secularism in the country. Puniyani has done considerable work to promote communal harmony. He has been conferred this award for his “strong commitment and cooperation over many years to promote the values of co-existence, tolerance & understanding” according to ACHA.

Professor Muhammad Iqbal, head, Department of Botany and Dean, Faculty of Science at Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, has been honoured by the Academy of Environmental Biology with its Archana Medal Award in recognition of his research contribution in the fields of environmental botany and pollution biology. The award was coferred in the Annual Session 2004 of the Academy held at the Institute of Science, Mumbai. Professor Iqbal also delivered the Prof. Y. N. Sahay Memorial Lecture on this occasion.

S.A.H. Kazmi has been appointed the new Finance Officer of Aligarh Muslim University by vice Chancellor Naseem Ahmad consequent upon the retirement of S. Shafique Ahmad the previous incumbent of this post. Kazmi’s appointment is till further orders or his retirement. In addition to this, the VC has appointed Dr Mahinder Kumar Jindal, reader in AMU’s Dr Ziauddin Ahmad Dental College as the head of the concerned department, Dr Kausar Jahan reader in Oral Dental Pathology, as head of this department and Prof. Hasan of West Asian Studies Centre as new head of this centre. The appointments of the last three heads are for three years each. 

Iftekhar Anjum, who recently left Congress and joined Lok Janshakti Party, has been appointed general secretary of L J P’s Delhi Pradesh minorities cell. Information to this effect was given by the National President of Party’s minorities cell, Afzal Abbas. 

Uttar Pradesh Club honoured 18 senior journalists on 31 December with commendation certificates designated Patrakaar Shiromani Awards. These awards were presented by the UP Assembly Speaker, Mata Prasad Pandey and those honoured with this award are Ishrat Ali Siddiqui, S.M. Zafar Salahuddin Usmani, Hira Lal Aggarwal, Abid SuhaiL, Suresh Dwivedi, Usman Gani among others. 

Shabih Ahmad Khan, social worker, chief executive officer of Central Haj Committee and former deputy director of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi has been appointed principal secretary of Justice Suhel Aijaz Siddiqui, chairman of the newly formed National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions. All social and literary organisations of Amroha have welcomed his appointment and hoped that problems of all minority educational institutions will now be solved with greater speed.

Yusuf Khan alias DIlip Kumar who recently celebrated his 82nd birth day very modestly appears to be obsessed these days, as every one indeed should, with the last days of life. The legendry actor who attained heights of fame in the film world and who has deeply studied Islam said recently that though he has achieved almost everything in this world that money can buy, he is very poor from the point of view of the World Hereafter. He said that these days he is keeping indifferent health and the fear of the World Beyond is haunting his mind and asked the audience to pray for him. 

Babu Edakkunni, 38-year old Kerala-born and Qatar- based artist specilises in paintings with the medium, not of brush and paints but soils of different types. Recently he made a big portrait of President APJ Abdul Kalam on plywood for which he selected some white soils from a village in Haryana, a bit of grey clay from Farmers Village, also in Haryana, reddish brown soil from Jalahalli, mustard shade earth from Pondicherry and yellow soil from Coimbatore. He says that once the soils are pasted on plywood with fevicol, these become solid and take permanent shape. When he recently presented his art piece to the President in Rashtrapati Bhawan, in his own words, he (the President) jumped from his chair when told that it was made only with soil. Babu claims to be the first person in the world to use soils and sands as the material for his art. 

Prof Rocket Ibrahim of Jamia Millia’s department of Geography has been appointed new Proctor of Jamia Millia. Prof Ibrahim has 22 years of administrative experience. Before his new appointment, he held the posts of deputy Proctor, hostel warden, finance officer, legal cell and property incharge etc.

Film producer and director Akbar Khan, who is making his magnum opus Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story which is probably the costliest film ever made in India (estimated cost being Rs 80 crore) is taking every care against its video piracy. Though Bollywood has thus far failed to devise any anti-piracy weapon Akbar Khan, in order to foil any attempt at video piracy, has hired the services of a detective agency whose vast network of spies in all grey areas in the country is keeping an eagle’s eye on the activities of all such pirates. The film is almost complete and Akbar Khan plans to release it in Jan or Feb, 05. Actress and singer of yesteryears, Noor Jahan’s grand daughter, Sonia Jahan and model actor Zulfi Sayyad are having lead roles along with Kabir Bedi, Manisha Koirala, Arbaz Khan etc.

Centre of Indian Languages of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s School of Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies recently organised a literary meet in the University’s premises. On this occasion Master of Philosophy (M. Phil) degrees were conferred on Waseem Saghar Azmi, Abdul Wadood, Farzana Azam Lutfi and Mohammad Azam and a Doctorate Degree was conferred on Rizwanul Haq. Many well-known literary figures participated in this gathering and read out their papers on poetry and prose .«

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