AMU VC praises Saudi alumni for excellent contributions


The Jeddah-based alumni of India’s historic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday celebrated the bicentennial celebrations (1817-2017) of the university’s founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

The most prominent guest at the event at Jeddah’s Crowne Plaza Hotel was AMU Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor. The event was organized by the AMU Old Boys Association’s Jeddah Chapter.
The university’s alumni hold many responsible and prominent positions in Saudi Arabia in the fields of academia, industry, health care, media, medicine and engineering.
Among the other guests were Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh, Ameer Ahamed, chairman, Manappat Foundation, and prominent Riyadh-based educationist Nadeem Tarin.
The Jeddah Chapter of the AMU Old Boys Association is headed by Azizurrab A. Mohammad. Nooruddin Khan is vice president; Asim Zeeshan is general secretary and Ather Rasool is treasurer.
Talking to Arab News, the vice-chancellor praised the alumni community in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia’s alumni network is one of the best because of the active participation in AMU work. The alumni are helping in the development of the university. Recently, they donated a significant amount for the smart classroom project. I have thanked them for their hard work and commitment,” he said. “The alumni association in Riyadh, in cooperation with the Jeddah association, is constructing a hostel for 15,000 students at AMU India, named Riyadh Hostel,” he said.
The vice-chancellor discussed the virtues of tolerance, pure morality, knowledge, large-heartedness, and free inquiry among AMU students and staff.
“Our top priority is to develop research and innovation at AMU. We are starting new employment-oriented courses such as a college of nursing, paramedical college, veterinary college and institute of pharmacy,” he said.
He added that the central government had recently given the university a total of 900 million Indian rupees ($13.9 million) for the development of these projects at AMU.
“Total integrity will be my priority. It is non-negotiable,” he said.
Mansoor said: “My aim is to maintain transparency within our system. We have a clear transparent system provided by the Indian government in order to avoid the misuse of funds.”
Mansoor said that there were many issues related to teachers, students, non-teaching staff including law and order problems on the campus. There are always some undesirable elements trying to disturb the peace of the university.
“I want the AMU campus to become more tolerant, democratic, with a greater scientific temperament. It should be open to ideas,” he said.
AMU is offering thousands of scholarships for Indian and foreign students with the aim of providing a high-quality education.
“We are a residential university and 16,000 students live on campus. We have students from 31 states and union territories. AMU has more than 800 foreign students from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and North African countries,” he said.
AMU offers hundreds of courses in 303 departments. The university has approximately 22,000 students at the higher level and 15,000 students in school.
“We are open to collaboration with Saudi universities in the field of geology, petrochemicals, petroleum studies and chemical engineering and West Asian studies. The AMU library is one of the best in the world. Many scholars from Egypt, South Africa, West Asia come for the library. We have also established a modern Qur’anic center in collaboration with Oxford University,” he said.
Mansoor said that AMU had a large alumni network spread all over the world including in the US, Europe, West Asia, the Middle East, and New Zealand among others.
He said that the university had signed agreements with different universities including the University of Washington, Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Sharjah, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the UK, among others.
“Kuwait University is eager to sign an agreement in the field of petrochemicals, chemical engineering and management; hopefully we will sign the agreements in the near future.”
A surgeon by profession with a special interest in breast and thyroid diseases, Mansoor has 33 years of teaching and 35 years of clinical experience. He has 90 publications to his credit and has guided 49 postgraduate medical students for their theses as supervisor/co-supervisor.