Paving A Path To Excellence
My designation is that of a Vice Chancellor, but I am merely a facilitator, says Professor Seyed E. Hasnain of Jamia Hamdard Deemed University in an interview with Waqar Ahmed Fahad
Syed. E. Hasnain, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard
Prof Hasnain can be considered to be a visionary scientist who aims to revamp Jamia Hamdard, Deemed to be University. An innovative administrator is a known name in the academic industry. Before he took charge here, he was an Invited Professor at IIT-Delhi. Prof Hasnain has a series of awards to his name, he was earlier the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, a Research Professor at the Institute of Life Sciences. He also taught at the Delhi University, worked at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, and was the first Director of Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad. He is also the recipient of the coveted Padma Shri (Civilian Award) from His Excellency Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India in 2006.
Here are excerpts from the interview.
Q. Since you took charge, will there be a strengthening of technical courses in the future?
At Jamia Hamdard, the focus is on courses related to healthcare. Technical courses are limited in number. These courses are being strengthened by upgrading infrastructure and relooking at the faculty-student ratio. This is important as placement record of students of technical courses of the University has been impressive and I am sure it will improve further.
Q. What kind of alliances national/ international and industry-academia tie-ups have taken place during your tenure?
Jamia Hamdard since its inception has a close relation with institutes of national importance. We have a strong working relationship with CSIR ( Council of Scientific & Industrial Research), DST (Department of Science and Technology) and DBT (Department of Biotechnology) institutes. This relationship with CSIR has resulted in joint Ph.D. programme, projects, and conferences. I would also like to add that we have close relationships with DRDO and joint research between Jamia Hamdard & INMAS-DRDO has led the development of pharmaceutical products which are being used by defense forces.
Apart from this, we also have three research hubs established in collaboration with industry by BD Biosciences, Hillemand Labs, and SunPharma. We recently cemented collaboration with Yashraj Biotech, Mumbai in the field of stem cell research. International collaboration has also been established with institutions in Turkey.
Q. The institution is Jamia known only for allied medical courses. Are you keen on introducing professional degrees in Humanities?
Abdul Hakeem Hameed, the founder of Jamia Hamdard was a renowned physician of Unani Medicine. He established several institutions in the field of healthcare with a focus on pharmacy, nursing, Unani medicine and history of medicine. However, he also wanted center of research in the field of Islamic Studies and Federal Studies. We are carrying out his mission and have expanded our activities primarily focusing on ‘healthcare education’. We have some selected programmes in management and engineering and recently launched courses in legal studies. However, our distinctive feature remains ‘healthcare education and research’.
Q. What are the plans for further expansion?
We like to expand horizontally and vertically. My aim is to increase the student enrolment in all courses. We have recently introduced an integrated BSc – MSc programme Chemical and life sciences. The duration of the programme is five years. A number of courses in humanities and legal studies have been proposed. We have government-recognized campuses at Kannur in Kerala. We would like to have other campuses where we feel we will fulfill our vision.
According to you, what are the challenges you face to become an institute of excellence?
Institutions are made by faculty and students. We have been trying to get best talents in students and faculty. We have been successful to some extent. However, we need to make more efforts. Research funding is an issue. For high-quality research, especially in the field of biomedical sciences. We also need to invest in infrastructural facilities.
Q. Have you been able to translate your vision of academic excellence into reality so far?
Absolutely yes. Since September 2016, I have made efforts to bring Jamia Hamdard on a global map. Already, QS has ranked us in Top 100 in India in pharmacy along with historic central university BHU ( Banaras Hindu University). We are a young university, getting a rank along with BHU in the same fold is not a small feat. Currently, our NIRF ( National Institutional Ranking Framework) in Pharmacy is 1 at the national level. In last one year, Hamdard has been visited by several governments- constituted review committees and all the cases committee members are impressed and have given us a positive feedback. We are the first academic institution which has implemented 7th Pay commission.
My aim is to bring Jamia Hamdard in top national and international ranking and for that my team is working hard.
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