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Knowledge for a humanitarian society

education Updated: May 08, 2012 11:53 IST
Proyashi Barua
Proyashi Barua
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Commanding a 100-acre campus secured by six gates, the university provides a serene and calm ambience that augurs well for academic pursuits and the academically inclined. Buildings with expansive architectural designs and manicured lush green lawns lend a lazy old world charm to the university. “But this serene and calm ambience should not be mistaken for complacence,” says Javed Ahmed who is pursuing a PhD in pharmaceutical science. “Academic rigour is very pronounced at Jamia Hamdard and attendance is a very strict and sacrosanct criterion for appearing in the examination hall. Though a decade back people used to identify the varsity as a centre for basic research, today the world over there is an understanding and appreciation of the yeoman research that the university undertakes for introducing breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology that are envisaged to improve the condition of the economically marginalized sections of society,” shares Ahmed. Also the recent reaccreditation of the university by National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) in the A grade is a testimony to its rising prominence in the national academic scenario.

Jamia Hamdard University extols the life philosophy of its founder Hakeem Abdul Hameed, a visionary and acclaimed physician who believed that the mission of education at an important level is to develop individuals who are compassionate and sensitive to the needs of those who are lesser privileged than themselves. This philosophy extends to everything in the university, starting from the admission procedure to the ethos of teaching and research. Incidentally, the university caters to students, 90% of whom are first and second generation of learners in their families. A sizeable chunk of this group hails from economically marginalised sections. Hence subsidies in fee structures have been meticulously worked out in the admission system. About R2 crore have been earmarked for freeships. The choice of research subjects are determined through social relevance and economic merit and this explains the ongoing projects in the field of plant drug extraction and vaccines. Incidentally, the university research conducted on plant drug extraction has demonstrated an output of 2% and surpassed the national record of 1%.

The university has students of 32 different nationalities. Many of them (from underdeveloped and developing countries) do not know the English language. True to its humane and facilitating essence and for their benefit the university offers a six-month foundation bridge course.

Famous for: Popular for its pharmacy and Unani programmes, the university attracts aspiring pharmacists and practitioners of Unani medicine. This is perhaps the only university that teaches the allopathy system of medicine in conjunction with the traditional system. Case studies employing both the systems are constantly demonstrated to the students through real live experience. The faculty of pharmacy also offers a unique programme leading to PhD in pharmaceutical medicine in collaboration with Ranbaxy Research Laboratories.

In the offing: Jamia Hamdard plans to set up another campus in Haryana, focused on developing skills among school dropouts, matriculates and the uneducated. As a commitment towards developing India's workforce the new centre will concentrate mainly on providing vocational education. The university is also setting up a medical college and two teaching hospitals under the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (HIMSR). The two hospitals will focus on cancer and cardiovascular diseases for clinical research, providing primary and secondary health care services. The new medical college will initially offer an MBBS course. However the university also plans to launch other medical courses when permitted by MCI. The new medical college will admit 100 undergraduate students per year in the first phase.

Infrastructure: The university prides itself of a Campus wise Information System (CWIS), a well stocked library that specialises in research journals, a fancy convention centre, separate hostels for girls and boys, a day and night cricket ground and three canteens including an Amul centre. The website of the college is comprehensive and well updated.

Extracurricular: “Annual fests are a big draw in terms of extracurricular activities,” says Sugandha Mittal, who is pursuing a masters in pharmaceutical science. “The annual highlights of the university are RX Pharma Fest that involve existing students and alumni; Mosaic, a cultural sports festival and Rendezvous, an annual cultural evening extravaganza for foreign students,” she informs.

Canteen connect: The University has three canteens - pharmacy, Majidia and one in the science building along with a standalone Amul centre. Interestingly the canteens consciously refrain from serving junk food like pizzas, burgers etc and concentrate on wholesome Indian, Middle Eastern and South east Asian staple offerings like biryani, roti, rice and noodles. The standards of hygiene are good and the pricing is nominal.

Popular Hangouts: Saket, Select City Walk, Jamia Millia Islamia's Community Centre, Lajpat Nagar Market, GK are popular hangout zones for students.

Found on Campus: “One thing that I love about this university is that it is very welcoming to foreign students. Our often awkward attempts to become a part of India are never made fun of,” says Setareh Barani, an MPharm student from Iran. “An endearing quality of Indian students is that they never laugh when we speak Hindi with an accent or make mistakes,” she shares.

Factfile
The Prof Tandon Committee constituted by MHRD recently placed Jamia Hamdard in category “A” of Deemed University. This along with the reaccreditation by NAAC have been recent important milestones. Public private collaborations in education and industry academic collaborations in research are a huge focus of the varsity. Jamia Hamdard is perhaps the only varsity where industry majors like Ranbaxy and Cipla have actually set up research laboratories within the campus

Wishlist
“There should be a little more relaxation in terms of dress code. While I do respect the need for decorum and restraint a little flexibility could be accommodated,” says a female student requesting anonymity