New Delhi: On the 73rd Republic Day, the first-ever female Vice- Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Prof. Najma Akhtar has been awarded with the prestigious award Padma Shri from President Ram Nath Kovind in the category of literature and education. She is known for the first female Vice-Chancellor of central university. Akhtar was appointed as the vice chancellor (VC) in April 2019, the same year which saw protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December.
Last year, the University was given A++ grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
She has studied in Aligarh Muslim University and was a gold medalist. She is PhD in Education from Kurukshetra University and has done University Administration Course from University of Warwick and Nottingham. She has also been trained at the International Institute of Educational Planning at Paris.
She stands as a great motivator being an Academician and establishing the first state-level management institute at Prayagyaj (Allahabad). She has also headed the Department of Education Administration in National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) for 15 years. And not only this, she has served as the VC of University of Kashmir. Akhtar was the Controller of Examination and Director of Academic Programs at Aligarh Muslim University and has been served as a consultant to UNESCO, UNICEF and DANIDA.
On her moment of pride, she thanked President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for recognising her work. Talking about the honour, she said the award gives her more encouragement to perform in future.
“I was not aiming to get it. In the last one year, the university has been achieving great heights. The VC is given the responsibility as well as the blame. I know people are recognising my work. I am obliged that the prime minister and the president are recognising my work. especially, the President, who entrusted me as the first woman VC of the university I am extremely grateful. Everyone puts in hard work, but not everyone gets recognition,” she said.
On her appointment as the first female vice chancellor in the university, she said, “My aim was not to break the glass ceiling but I was definitely against the glass ceiling. Why is it even there, if you hold the same educational qualifications and experience?” source: Hindustan times
The VC said, in a statement, that the award is an important achievement for not only herself, but for every individual associated with the university, especially female students. “The responsibility has increased now and I will try my level best to keep up to their expectations,” she said.
The Jamia Millia Islamia, in a tweet, called Akhtar’s achievement a proud moment for the university. “It is a matter of great pride for the @jmiu_official that Vice Chancellor Prof.Najma Akhtar has been selected for #PadmaShri Award for her distinguished services in the field of literature and education,” the university tweeted. Source: Theprint
Prof. Najma has been working towards gender-equality and promoting more enrolment of women in her university. Her aim is to attenuate the gap between men and women through education.