Aligarh, December 22— Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Centenary Celebrations of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) today through video conference. The PM lauded the contributions of AMU.
“AMU alumni are present not only at higher institutions in India but also in hundreds of countries. During foreign trips, I often meet AMU alumni who proudly tell me that they got education from AMU. The alumni take the poetry culture from the campus. Wherever they are in the world, they represent the culture of India,” said PM Modi in the beginning of his speech.
Speaking on the occasion, the PM recalled AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s remark that the ‘the first and foremost duty of one who is concerned about his country is to work for the welfare of all people. Irrespective of the caste, creed or religion.’
The Prime Minister stressed that the country is proceeding on a path where every citizen is assured of his or her constitution-given rights, no one should be left behind due one’s religion and this is the basis of the pledge ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabk viswas’.
“Country’s resources belong to each and every citizen and should benefit all. Our government is working with this understanding” said Prime Minister Modi.
The PM lauded AMU for the unprecedented contribution to the society during the Coronavirus pandemic. He added that getting thousands of people to do free tests, building isolation wards, building plasma banks and contributing a large amount to the PM Care Fund shows the seriousness of fulfilling your obligations to society. He said today, with such organized efforts, India is successfully combating the global epidemic like Corona, keeping the country paramount.
The PM lauded the diversity at the AMU campus.
“People tell me that AMU campus is like a town in itself. Amidst a number of departments, dozens of hostels, thousands of teachers, professors and lakhs of students, it looks like a mini-India also. At AMU, Urdu is taught on one hand and Hindi on the other. If Arabic is taught here, then there is a century-old institution here for Sanskrit teaching. In its library, there is manuscript of Quran, then the translations of Gita and Ramayana are also kept here with good care. This diversity is the strength of not only the institution like AMU but also of the entire nation. We should neither forget this strength nor let it get weaken. We should work together so that the feeling about Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat gets strengthened at the AMU campus day by day.”
The Prime Minister said that in the last 100 years, AMU has also worked to strengthen India’s relations with many countries of the world. He further said the research done here on Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages, research on Islamic literature, gives new energy to India’s cultural relations with the entire Islamic world. He said the University has the double responsibility to further enhance the soft power of the university as well as fulfilling the obligation of nation building.
The Prime Minister recalled a time when the drop-out rate of Muslim daughters was more than 70 percent due to lack of toilets. He said the government built separate toilets for the school-going girl students in mission mode under Swachh Bharat Mission. And now the school drop-out rate of Muslim daughters has come down to about 30 percent. He lauded the “Bridge courses” being run for school drop-out students by the Aligarh Muslim University. He further said the government is very focused on the education of Muslim daughters and their empowerment. In the last 6 years, nearly one crore Muslim daughters have been given scholarships by the government. He further stressed that there should be no discrimination on the basis of gender, everyone should get equal rights, everyone should get the benefit of development of the country.
The PM said AMU has attracted many from its contemporary curriculum in higher education. He said New National Education Policy has Interdisciplinary subjects similar to one already taught at the university. He said the youth of our country is committed to advancing the country with the call of Nation First. This aspiration of India’s youth has been given priority in the new National Education Policy. He said the multiple entry and exit points in the new National Education Policy will make it easier for students to take decisions regarding their education. This will also give the students freedom to take their decision without worrying about the fees of the entire course.
The PM urged the 100 hostels of AMU to perform an extracurricular task on this occasion of 100 years, in line with the 75th anniversary of India’s freedom, to research about the lesser-known freedom fighters.
Besides the PM, AMU’s Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifudin, Vice Chancellor Prof. Tariq Mansoor and Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present on the occasion.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had set up Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College in 1877. It became a central university as Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. AMU’s main campus is spread over 467.6 hectares of land in the city of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. The university also has three off-campus centres in Malappuram (Kerala), Murshidabad-Jangipur (West Bengal) and Kishanganj (Bihar).