Professor Najma Akhtar from the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) was Thursday appointed as the first woman Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia since its inception in 1920. The 16th V-C of the university, she is also the first woman vice-chancellor of any central university in Delhi. Akhtar succeeds Talat Ahmad, who is now serving as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir.
“It is a progressive landmark in the history of educational leadership and a matter of pride for Jamia Millia Islamia. The whole JMI fraternity accorded a warm welcome to the decision, and has assured sincere cooperation,” Jamia PRO Ahmed Azeem said in a statement. Previous V-Cs of Jamia include former president Zakir Husain, former Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung and noted historian, the late Mushirul Hasan.
Akhtar has been the head of the Department of Educational Administration at NIEPA, where she has worked for 15 years. “She is known for spearheading international educational administrators’ course for senior officials from 130 countries for more than 15 years at NIEPA. She also successfully developed the first state-level management institute (SIEMET) at Allahabad for nurturing educational administrators in the country. She has also managed the affairs of premier educational institutes in various critical statutory positions, such as controller of examination and director, academic programmes, at Aligarh Muslim University. At IGNOU, she led capacity building courses for many distance educators at the national and international level,” Azeem said.
Akhtar has studied in institutes such as the universities of Warwick and Nottingham in UK and IIEP-UNESCO in Paris, and worked as a consultant with UNESCO, UNICEF, DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) and other international organisations. As per the NIEPA website, she is a gold medallist from Aligarh Muslim University and finished her PhD (Education) from Kurukshetra University.
“Under her able leadership, JMI may expand, prosper and provide safe and robust environment of learning, attracting talents from all parts of the country and abroad. The realisation of the goal of massification of professional higher education, and achievement of other national educational targets and opening of new professional courses is also on the cards. Jamia Millia Islamia, under the new leadership, will strive to achieve the status of one of the world class universities,” said Azeem.
Akhtar did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.