The Vice-Chancellor of University of Kashmir Professor Talat Ahmad has been appointed V-C of Jamia Millia Islamia on Tuesday.
Ahmad’s appointment comes nine months after former Jamia vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi. Although the decision is yet to be announced, sources at Jamia have confirmed the appointment. Ahmad, who hails from Giridih in Jharkhand, is an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, University of Leicester and Cambridge University. He was serving as vice-chancellor of University of Kashmir for the last three years.
Prior to that, he had served as a geologist at the Geological Survey of India and as a professor at the Department of Geology, University of Delhi, from 2003 to 2011. He is an expert member on the board of several environmental and geological organisations, including the Science & Engineering Research Council, and has won several accolades for his research.
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Ahmad was awarded the National Mineral Award, 1994, by the Government of India and is a life member of the Mineralogical Society of India. He is also a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and a J C Bose fellow, 2011. Prof Ahmad could not be reached for comments. In November, the union HRD ministry advertised the position of Jamia V-C on the recommendation of the search committee.
Many names were doing the rounds for the position including those of former Hyderabad University vice-chancellor Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain and former member of the National Commission for Minorities Zoya Hassan. In September last year, more than 300 Jamia teachers wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, also the Visitor of the country’s only central minority university, requesting his intervention in the process of appointment of the next vice-chancellor. In the letter, the teachers emphasised the need to appoint “an academician of high repute and integrity” as vice-chancellor.
The search committee comprised three members — Justice Aftab Alam and Jamia Hamdard V-C Professor G N Qazi, named by Jamia’s Executive Council along with Visitor’s nominee UGC chairperson Ved Prakash. Professor Hasnain had declined to take up the position after he heard that his name was in the fray without receiving any official word from the search committee.