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Jamia's First Female VC Najma Akhtar Selected for Padma Shri

By: Education and Careers Desk


Last Updated: January 26, 2022, 12:11 IST

New Delhi

Padma Shri Najma Akhtar

Padma Shri Najma Akhtar

Akhtar will receive the award from President Ram Nath Kovind on Republic Day in the literature and education category.

The first-ever female vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) has been selected for the Padma Shri award. Akhtar will receive the award from President Ram Nath Kovind on Republic Day in the literature and education category. Not just Jamia, but the first female vice-chancellor of a central university in Delhi. Akhtar was born in 1953.

She has over decades of experience as an academician. Before joining Jamia,  Akhtar was serving as the vice-chancellor of the University of Kashmir. Akhtar has also headed the Department of Educational Administration at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) for 15 years.

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She is best known for establishing the first state-level management institute at Allahabad and starting an international education administrator’s course for senior officials at NIEPA. She has also held positions at IGNOU. At the national open university, she worked on creating courses for educators teaching in distance mode.

On being selected for the award, Akhtar said, “I will accept this award not just for myself but on behalf of my colleagues. Now that we have the award in our institute, it has increased our responsibilities and will motivate us to work harder.” She added, “I appreciate all those who recognised me and my work and deemed me fit for the award. Especially our President who entrusted me as the first female vice-chancellor of the central university. I believe I have fulfiled the expectations.”

She has been working towards gender equity in higher education institutes. Akhtar in an interview with News18 Urdu at the time of her joining had said that her aim is to ensure female enrolment in her university is at 50 per cent. Female enrolment in colleges across India is usually lesser than males. She also said that her goal is to establish a medical college at Jamia.

Akhtar is a gold medalist from Aligarh Muslim University. She has a PhD in Education from Kurukshetra University and has been a Commonwealth Fellow for University Administration Course at the University of Warwick and Nottingham. She has also trained at the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP), UNESCO, Paris.

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Congratulating its VC, Jamia tweeted, “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.”

This year the President has approved the conferment of 128 Padma Awards including two duo cases. The list comprises four Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri Awards. A total of 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners, NRI, PIO, OCI and 13 posthumous

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first published:January 25, 2022, 21:38 IST
last updated:January 26, 2022, 12:11 IST