Reshaping Jamia Hamdard
He is the quintessential scientist with a vast repository of research work behind him. From CSIR to heading the Regional Research Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir, Dr G N Qazi finally became the Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Hamdard University to disseminate the knowledge acquired by him over the decades as a scientist and teacher to the younger generation. Although a native of Kashmir, Dr Qazi is a true cosmopolitan as he travelled around the country and abroad in quest of knowledge and then served the nation in various capacities. He candidly shared his views and vision while talking to Anil Anand of Greater Kashmir.
Tell us about your early days; memories of your student days in Srinagar.
I left Kashmir when I was 18. Later I joined M S University (Baroda) from where I obtained my Master’s and PhD degrees. After that I went to Germany to acquire my post doctoral training from the University of Dortmund.
You became part of the country’s scientific fraternity on joining the CSIR. But what has been your major assignment that took you back to your roots in Jammu and Kashmir?
I have remained a RRL scientist throughout my association with the CSIR. I was selected to head the two RRL establishments (in Jammu and Srinagar) in 2000 by the then National Democratic Alliance Government and remained at the helm of affairs for eight years before retiring.
How has been your journey after leaving Kashmir at a young age?
It has been a great experience in learning. I never looked back once I left the Valley to pursue a career in the field of scientific research. It can be gauged from the fact that for three decades I have been in the leadership positions during which I had the opportunity to help groom scores of young scientists and technocrats in my own areas of specialisation - biochemistry and microbiology. Till now I have guided 35 scholars in acquiring PhD degrees in various universities of India and Germany.
What about your contributions in the field of research?
I have 300 international publications and 70 patents to my credit. I have the privilege of doing my bit to help the nation in the field of drugs and pharmaceuticals and presently I am the chairman of the Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Research Programme of the Government of India. I am also chairman of the Unani Pharmacopeia Committee and member Pharmacopeia Commission for AYUSH drugs.
How did you get associated with Jamia Hamdard University?
I left CSIR in September 2008 and was offered the job to be the Vice-Chancellor of this great institution. In fact, I was offered this assignment four years prior to that also but I declined as my mission with the RRL was still incomplete.
Were you in any manner associated with the University while working with the CSIR?
My focus had always been on traditional medicines even while I was connected with the CSIR. I have studied in detail Ayurveda, Unani and even Sidha systems of medicine. On joining Jamia Hamdard I iscovered that it is a centre of Unani medicine. I tried to understand this system and ultimately got immersed into it. I first came to Jamia Hamdard in 1992-93.
The University has opened its medical college also and this is the first season. How does it feel? Do you rate it as one of your major achievements and won’t it lead to a confrontation between alternate systems of medicine and allopathic?
Certainly, medical college project is a major achievement. It does not reflect any contradiction. The fact of the matter is that we have to achieve coordination among various systems of medicines to get good results. This has been thinking of our founding father Hakeem Abdul Hameed sahab who was all for encouraging different systems of medical care.
Do you have large percentage of students coming from Jammu and Kashmir?
There are about 20 per cent students from the state particularly from Kashmir. Recently we have opened a centre of examination in Rajouri to encourage students from those remote areas of the state to pursue studies in Jamia.
Any new plans focusing Jammu and Kashmir. Do you have any plans to open a branch of Jamia Hamdard in Kashmir?
Jamia Hamdard has set up an academy to provide coaching to the students aspiring to take Civil Services Examinations. The idea is to attract more Muslim students towards the coveted central services as the community’s representation is very less. A special project funded by the Central Government has been taken up in this connection. A grant of RS 14 Crore was given by the Government in the 11th five year plan. This financial component is being further extended.
We are making efforts to extend this coaching programme to Jammu and Kashmir also. We will soon tie up with NGOs in Kashmir and Jammu to start the programme. In Kashmir the NGO run by former bureaucrat Mohammed Shafi Pandit is doing good job on this front.
I repeat my question regarding opening centres outside Delhi?
We do have plans and one such centre is being opened in Mewat region of Haryana for which the state government has offered land. Through such centres we wish to start training programmes to produce qualified work force say medical technicians, drivers etc. For instance in India we need five million qualified drivers in India and we as an institute can endeavour to provide trained work force.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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