A students’ union election, medical college and hospital, a choice-based credit system to promote interdisciplinary studies and a greater emphasis on research... there is a lot on the cards at Jamia Millia Islamia. Unveiling a slew of proposals for academic as well as administrative reforms, Talat Ahmad, vice chancellor, JMI, says a choice-based credit system will be put in place within two years. “This will enable students to move across disciplines, giving them freedom in their academic pursuits as mandated by the University Grants Commission. I also propose to put the university on the national map in regard to environmental studies, earth sciences, glacial studies, global positioning system, geographic information system and climate change,” says Ahmad.
The university is contemplating to set up a School of Earth Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences. The university has got land near its campus as per a Supreme Court verdict which will be used for JMI’s developmental projects. The university will also see administrative changes. A new security advisor, chief proctor and director-games and sports have been appointed. “The objective is to give fresh orientation to the processes and rejuvenate the system. I wish to introduce new faces and develop a second line of leadership soon,” adds Ahmad.
There is a provision for credit transfer (out of the total value of 64, eight credits may be earned from outside the parent department), 12 smart classrooms, (nine smart classrooms for different faculties and three for the AJK Mass Communication and Research Centre, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance and KR Narayan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies. “We propose to consolidate the existing academic programmes and give consideration to the growth of theoretical physics, Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Geosciences. The university has also put in place an innovation centre which encourages students and teachers to come together to convert theoretical concepts to practical use,” says Ahmad.
The university is also planning for interdisciplinary studies and co-supervisor facilities for master’s students and PhD scholars in association with Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. “There is a possibility of these universities to share their expertise and resources with us. One way is to have exchange programmes in which students can do a course of their interest in the university which is known for that subject and earn credits,” says Ahmad. JMI is also contending to NAAC accreditation and has submitted its global institutional profile for global rankings with the Times Higher Education Ranking.