Najma Akhtar, Jamia Millia Islamia's first female Vice-Chancellor, is selected for the prestigious Padma Shri award for her contribution to education and literature. Since her appointment in 2019, Akhtar has been instrumental in making the university one of the best in the country.
"I'm grateful to those who recognised my work and deemed me for the award. I would extend special thanks to our honourable Prime Minister and President, who entrusted me as the first woman vice-chancellor of Jamia. With this award, my responsibilities towards Jamia and the country have increased, and it will motivate me to work harder in the future," Hindustan Times quotes Najma Akhtar.
Najma Akhtar's Journey As Vice-Chancellor
The 68-year-old academician was appointed Jamia Millia Islamia's first woman Vice-Chancellor after Talat Ahmed resigned in 2018 to join Kashmir University. She is a gold medallist from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where she became the Controller of Examination and the director of academic programs.
From Kurukshetra University, she received PhD in Education, after which she went to UNESCO and trained at the International Institute of Education Planning (IIEP). She has continued to do impressive work to develop the country's education infrastructure, one of which was establishing a state-level management institute in Prayagraj.
With Akhtar donning the vice-chancellor hat, she was the first woman to take up a leadership role in Jamia Millia Islamia, 90 years after its inception. She has spearheaded initiatives within the university that champion women empowerment and uplift them.
Her role during the anti-CAA protests remains one of the most talked-about moments. In 2019, Delhi Police stormed into the Jamia campus and attacked students on the pretext of 'anti-national' elements within the college. However, Najma Akhtar stood tall with the students and supported them. It was under her helm when a police complaint was filed against the 'unruly policemen' and their brutal actions.
This year's list of Padma awardees includes Late Gen. Bipin Rawat, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Neeraj Chopra, Avani Lakhera, Sowcar Janaki, Sonu Nigam that are being bestowed with the prestigious honour.
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