About Jamia Millia Islamia

Jamia was established in 1920 by a group of nationalist Muslim intelligentsia at Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh). Its campus shifted from Aligarh to Delhi in 1925 and the foundation stone of the present campus was laid on 1 March 1930. Since then, the university has expanded and become known as a premier educational institution of the country. Recognising its contributions in the field of teaching, research and extension work, the University Grants Commission (UGC) bestowed the “deemed university” status to it in 1962, and it was designated a Central University in 1988. The journey from Aligarh to Delhi, not only presents the physical expansion of Jamia, but also presents a lesson for those who want to build educational institutions for the nation. It is therefore not surprising that Rabindranath Tagore once called the University as “one of the most progressive educational institutions of the country”.


Jamia and the Nationalist Alternative

Jamia was conceived as the National Muslim University in October 1920 on the campus of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College set up by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan at Aligarh. Since its inception in 1892, the Aligarh College had produced an elite and middle class leadership that was actively involved with the nationalist movement in one manner or the other. The landed gentry connected with the Aligarh College had helped to form the All India Muslim League in 1906. At the same time, the educated and secular Muslim intelligentsia from the college was associated with the khilafat and non-cooperation movements led by Gandhiji and whose main plank of political mobilisation was Hindu-Muslim unity. The changing character of the nationalist movement in the Gandhian leadership had its impact on those connected with the Aligarh College. The syndicate of the college proclaimed that it had been founded to turn out “worthy and useful subjects of the British Crown”. In contrast, freedom fighters like, Mohamed Ali (the khilafat leader and the first vice-chancellor) and Hakim Ajmal Khan wanted to build an educational institution which would serve to inculcate both, modern education and nationalist ideals in students from all communities, particularly the Muslims. They also actively opposed the “two nation theory” propagated by the Muslim League. This stand brought about a split between the Muslim intelligentsia and the Jamia was born out of this ideological conflict. The formation of Jamia was supported by Gandhiji and Tagore who had himself initiated such an effort in Shanti Niketan. The start, which was made in Krishna Ashram of the Aligarh College campus, was also a difficult one with lack of funds and infrastructure. The new university demonstrated that a society with diverse cultures could be groomed into a modern nation on the basis of a shared culture and perspective. In Jamia, Hindu, Muslim and other students not only studied together, they also ate and lived together in a spartan lifestyle. Teachers came from all over the country and lived the same simple lifestyles. The use of ‘khaddar’ for uniforms epitomised the nationalist principle that was to follow throughout its development. In 1924, after the withdrawal of khilafat, the institution faced a serious threat of closure. It then moved to Delhi and its reins were handed over to Dr Zakir Husain in 1926 who aptly remarked: “The biggest objective of Jamia is to prepare a roadmap for the future of Indian Muslims with the religion of Islam at its core and to fill that roadmap with the colour of the civilisation of India in such a way that it merges with the colours of the life of the common man.” Jamia survived this transitional phase with the active support and involvement of leaders like Hakim Ajmal Khan, M.A. Ansari, Abid Hussain and Mohammad Mujeeb who shared Zakir Husain’s vision for the institution. This phase of Jamia’s development was characterised by the equal sacrifices that were made by the staff and students of the university, and were ably aided by Gandhiji in their fund collection.

A reflection of self reliant modern and secular nation

From its inception, the Jamia had catered to students from disadvantaged backgrounds (in contrast to the elite Aligarh College) and its course curriculum was suited to meet the needs of such students. The medium of instruction and learning was Hindi, Urdu and English. By 1937, when the Jamia campus had already shifted to Okhla. The university was an active participant in spreading Gandhiji’s idea of nai talim which was popularly known as the ‘Wardha Scheme’. Under the leadership of Zakir Husain, the chief architect of Wardha Scheme, Jamia started the “Book Bank” project, the “Village (dehat) Project”, and “Subzi Mandi Project”. They also started programmes on sehat aur safai (health and hygiene), kapda (weaving), carpentry and soap making where students learnt the merits of combining manual labour along with broadening their intellectual horizons. Vocational training and school education became one of the cornerstones of Jamia education and models for innovative teaching. At the threshold of independence, Jamia was emerging as a dynamic and unique institution that aspired for support from the independent Indian government. The trials and tribulations of a newly formed nation were also reflected in Jamia, which faced enormous financial difficulties in this period. However, the coping strategies used by the administration, staff and students themselves reflected the values of self-reliance and democratic functioning that were to form the core principles of Nehruvian India. Nehru assigned many roles to the founders of Jamia: both Zakir Husain and Mujeeb were inducted into the Planning Commission to develop a plan for integrated education. But despite these contributions to national development, they were forced to fight hard for a university status.

Contemporary Jamia

It was in 1962 that Jamia became a deemed university recognised by the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 under the leadership of Mohammad Mujeeb, “At last Jamia employees were able to draw regular salaries”. By 1963, regular teaching programmes like masters in history and education, and undergraduate programmes in sciences were started. Thereafter, in 1969 doctoral programmes were started. The emergence of the university as a premier institution of learning was recognised in 1988 when it was accorded the status of a Central University. Today, Jamia Millia Islamia is an ensemble of a multi layered educational system which covers all aspects of schooling, under-graduate and postgraduate education. The university recognises that teaching and research are complementary activities that can advance its long-term interest. It has Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Education, Humanities & Languages, Architecture & Ekistics, Fine Arts, Law and Dentistry Faculties. Also, it has a well known Centre of Mass Communication Research Centre. Jamia Millia Islamia has also started several other research centres that have given an edge to Jamia in terms of critical research in various areas. Obviously, these initiatives aim to promote new and emerging areas of research and programmes that can offer opportunities to its students and teachers to expand their horizons. The Jamia Millia Islamia conducts Undergraduate, Postgraduate, M. Phil. and Ph.D. as well as Diploma and Certificate courses. The number of students in the University is 14729 of which 7407 are enrolled in undergraduate courses, 2661 in postgraduate, 1501 in M.Phil/Ph.D and 3160 in Diploma/Certificate courses. Jamia Millia Islamia, as before, continues to cater to the interests of students from all communities, but also aims to meet the particular needs of the disadvantaged sections of the Muslim society. True to the legacy of its founders, it continues to support measures for affirmative action and foster the goals of building a secular and modern system of integrated education. Thus, Jamia Millia Islamia is constantly learning from its history to negotiate the new and emerging challenges facing a nation of the twenty first century.

Faculty of Engineering [FET]

Faculty of Engineering and Technology was established in the year 1985. The Faculty is presently running undergraduate courses leading to the degree of B. Tech. in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics & Communication and Computer Engineering branches. Post-graduate courses leading to degree of M. Tech. in Environmental Science and Engineering, Electrical Power System Management, Mechanical Engineeirng and Earthquake Engineering. Master of Business Administration (evening) and M.Sc. Electronics courses are also offered. Research Programmes leading to the degree of Ph.D. are also offered by all the departments.

The Faculty is also running Evening Courses (part-time) in Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics & Communication and Computer Engineering at undergraduate (B.E.) level. The Evening Courses at B.E. level are designed and conducted to provide opportunities to improve technical qualification of inservice Diploma holders with the objective to equip the students with the knowledge and experience of modern technology relevant to their profession. The M.B.A. (Evening) Course is being run in the Faculty for inservice engineers, executives and managers. In addition to these courses, Jamia Polytechnic offers Diploma Engineering courses in Civil, Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Engineering branches. As an extension of continuing education program, Jamia Polytechnic also offers part- time Diploma Engineering courses in Civil, Electronics, Electrical, Mechanical and Computer Engineering branches in the evening for inservice vocational professionals.

Faculty of Engineering and Technology has well qualified faculty members in all the departments. The laboratories of all the departments are well equipped 49 and strengthening of these laboratories are continuously pursued. The Faculty has its own library and computer centre in addition to the central library and a Centre for Information Technolgoy to cater to the specialised needs of the students of the Faculty. The University has an excellent facility for the games & sports (indoor and outdoor both) and gymnastics, which is shared by all the faculties.

In all such courses that follow Semester System, each Academic Year is divided into two semesters viz. odd semesters and even semesters each of which is ordinarily of 20 weeks duration followed by Winter Vacation and Summer Vacation respectively. The Academic Schedule for all the semesters is notified by Dean’s office at the commencement of the Annual Academic session. End Semester Examinations are conducted and completed in two weeks time allotted for this purpose. Under normal circumstances, a maximum gap of one day between End Semester examinations of two theory courses of a Semester is permissible.

The Training & Placement Office of the University is actively looking after the training and placement needs of the students of Faculty of Engineering & Technology. A large number of leading organizations are regularly visiting for campus placements. The graduates of earlier batches have been gainfully employed in reputed public and private sector organizations in India and abroad. Many have opted for higher education in India and abroad.

Faculty of Engineering and Technology comprises of the following:

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