The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos, where students from different religions, ethnicity, linguistic backgrounds and culture integrate and work together in productive ways, former president Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.Mukherjee, who addressed students at the bicentennial birth celebrations of AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, said Sir Syed was far ahead of his time as he thought of empowering common people with modern scientific education at a time when India was a newly colonised society.“It is a privilege to be at AMU on the auspicious occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of the visionary leader of India, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan,” said Mukherjee. He also released a coffee table book, Jahan-e-Syed, with a timeline on Sir Syed’s life, work and mission. Mukherjee said Sir Syed began his mission by promoting western-style scientific education by founding modern schools and journals. “Sir Syed established a school at Moradabad, Victoria School at Ghazipur in 1863 and a scientific society for Muslims in 1864,” he added.He said Sir Syed’s journey to accomplish his mission took him to founding the Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College in 1875, which eventually became the AMU.“In today’s world, we need to take Sir Syed’s mission forward by concentrating on innovation, research, building a knowledge-based society and taking the reputation of the country to new heights,” pointed out Mukherjee. Presiding over the function, AMU vice-chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor said Sir Syed moulded the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education.“Sir Syed believed that knowledge and education will broaden horizons to counter hatred, bigotry and narrow perspectives,” emphasised the V-C.He also said it is a matter of satisfaction that the University Grants Commission has approved an allocation of nearly Rs 90 crore for the AMU for the next three years, which will support the ongoing projects and help enhance various kinds of facilities in the university.