On his first visit as chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin presided over the university’s 63rd annual convocation. He was accompanied by over 500 Dawoodi Bohra community members.
Syedna Saifuddin has a cherished bond with the university. His grandfather Dr Syedna Taher Saifuddin was chancellor from April 12, 1953 to April 28, 1965. During his tenure he invited international leaders including the kings of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, the president of Egypt and the Shah of Iran to AMU. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s father Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin also served the university as chancellor from 1999 to 2002.
In his address to the gathering Syedna encouraged the students to work for the betterment of humanity.
“It is an Islamic duty to remove the darkness of ignorance with the light of wisdom. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s vision, determination and dynamism led to the establishment of this great institution. It is imperative for all of us to receive significant education and work on propagation of knowledge like Khan did. We should work with determination and passion to make our country a better place.”
Adding music and colour to the event was the Dawoodi Bohra band from the Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah academies of Surat and Marol. Dressed in sherwani and pagdi, the 60-member band played bagpipes, cymbals, drums, trumpets, clarinets and saxophones but no string instruments were played. Their music was a celebration of their past heritage and roots.
The convocation honoured interventional cardiologist Ashok Seth and CEO of FI Investment Group, USA, Frank Islam – both university alumni – with DSc degrees in recognition of their achievements in their respective fields. Adding to the cheer were the young students who were awarded 207 medals, 600 MPhil and PhD degrees as well as 5,000 graduate and post-graduate degrees.
Reading from the university’s annual report released at the event, vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) said AMU had been getting good rankings in most of the ratings. “The US News and World Report ranked AMU as the second-best Indian university. We carried out 300 research projects, organized more than 100 international and national seminars and conferences. Faculty members published more than 2,500 papers and around 150 books,” Shah said, adding that Nobel laureate Takaaki Kajita would be available at the 64th convocation on November 1 this year.