The Jamia Millia Islamia University is a Central University that has its own campus located in South Delhi. It was originally established in 1920 at Aligarh which was a part of the United Provinces of India during the British Raj. In 1988, it was accorded as an Indian Central University according to the act of the Parliament of India. Jamia and Millia are Urdu or Arabic words that translate to University and National respectively. This University was established by the Nationalist Muslims, however, it operates as a secular centre of education in its character and approach to education and its standards. This University offers courses at School, Under-graduate and Post graduate levels and does not have any colleges affiliated to it.
The establishment of the Jamia Millia Islamia University can be attributed to 2 dominant trends that formed Jamia during the British Rule in India. These trends were anti-colonial activism and pro-independence aspirations that came together and gravitated with Mahatma Gandhi Ji as a catalyst against the British Rule. Their aim was to project the Indian Muslims as nationalist and anti British and hence the anti-colonial activism symbolised by the Khilafat and the pro-independence aspirations symbolized by the Non-Cooperation Movement of the Indian National Congress assisted in harnessing this concept and hence led to the subsequent birth of the Jamia Millia Islamia Institution.
On Friday the 26th of October, 1920, a freedom fighter and Muslim theologian named Maulana Mehmud Hasan laid the foundation stone of Jamia Millia Islamia at Aligarh. On 22nd November, 1920, Hakeem Ajmal Khan was elected as the first chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia Institute and Mohamed Ali Jauhar was elected as its first Vice-Chancellor. A group of nationalist teachers and students quit the Aligarh Muslim University in response to Gandhi Ji’s decision to boycott all educational institutions supported or run by the colonial British regime.
Throughout the political crisis and during the fight for an Independent India, Jamia participated in the Bardoli resolution and sent volunteers to motivate people to fight for the freedom of the country. Several teachers and students of Jamia were imprisoned by the colonial British government and in 1922; Gandhi called off the non-cooperation movement after which these teachers and students were released. Eventually in 1924, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk declared the end of the Khilafat. After this sudden set back, Jamia witnessed a great crisis. The mission of this Institute was soon lost as financial assistance declined and many prominent personalities deserted it. This virtually brought a total collapse of Jamia and the Institution seemed like an impossible venture to be accomplished.
In 1925, during its crisis, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari and Abdul Majeed Khwaja supported Mahatma Gandhi Jis decision to shift Jamia from Aligarh to Karol Bagh, in New Delhi. Gandhi Ji had several contacts in Delhi who aided in securing financial assistance for Jamia while most of its expense was borne by Hakim Ajmal Khan from his own pocket. Subsequently, Dr. M. A. Ansari and Abdul Majeed Khwaja toured India and abroad in order to explain the importance of Jamia and secure funds for this noble institution. Their collective effort averted a collapse of Jamia that was virtually certain and after a long deliberation, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Dr. Abid Husain and Dr. Mohammed Mujeeb [a group of three friends studying in Germany] decided to join and serve Jamia.
In 1928, Hakim Ajmal Khan passed away and this led to the second financial crisis of Jamia as he was the main financial supporter of this Institute. After his demise, Dr. Zakir Husain took over Jamias leadership and was elected as its Vice Chancellor in 1928. In order to resolve the financial set-back, Dr. Zakir Hussain led a group of young Jamia teachers to pledge and serve Jamia for the next twenty years for a meek salary of Rs. 150/- only. This group is known as the ‘Life Members of Jamia’ and in 1942; a similar pledge was repeated with a second group of Jamia teachers. In 1928, the Department of Printing and Publications was segregated into 3 divisions and converted into the new Jamia Press established at Darya Ganj, Urdu Academy, and Maktaba Jamia. These divisions were kept under the charge of Prof. Mohammed Mujeeb, Dr. Abid Husain and Mr. Hamid Ali respectively.
On 1st March, 1935, the foundation stone for a school building was laid at Okhla and in 1936, all the institutions of Jamia, except for the Jamia Press, the Maktaba and the library, were shifted to the new campus. Jamia focused on evolving innovative education methods which led to the establishment of a College for Teacher named as Ustadon Ka Madrasa in 1938. Dr. M. A. Ansari passed away in 1936 and on 4th June, 1939, Jamia Millia Islamia was registered as a society.
Despite Jamias various struggles, this University continued to grow as an academic institution with a difference post Independence too. It was frequented by several foreign dignitaries during their visits to India which included Marshal Tito who visited in 1954, King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan in 1955, Crown Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, King Reza Shah Pehlavi of Iran in 1956 and Prince Mukarram Jah in 1960.
In 1962, the University Grants Commission of India conferred Jamia Millia Islamia as a ‘Deemed to be University’ post which the ‘School of Social Work’ was established in 1967. In 1971, Jamia Millia Islamia established the ‘Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies’ in honour Dr. Zakir Husain, who passed away in 1969. BE (Civil Engineering) course was commenced in 1978 and the faculties of Humanities and Languages, Natural Sciences, Social Science, and the State Resource Centre were founded in 1981. Mass Communication Research Centre and the Centre for Coaching and Career Planning were established in 1983 and the Faculty of Engineering & Technology and the University Computer Centre were founded in 1985 followed by the establishment of Academic Staff College and the Academy of Third World Studies in 1987 and 1988 respectively.
Today, Jamia Millia Islamia is considered as one of the most prestigious Nationalist institutions in India and probably only one of its kinds to have survived a gamut of financial crisis and political opposition and has still managed to emerge as one of the best Universities in Delhi. During the British rule, degrees awarded by Jamia were not considered as valid, however, post Independence, on December 1988, Jamia was accorded the status of a ‘Central University’ by a special act of the parliament of India wherein all degrees, diplomas and certificate courses awarded by Jamia were valid and recognised worldwide.
Jamia Millia Islamia University houses seven faculties that include the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Natural Sciences & Faculty of Social Sciences. It also twenty centres of learning and research covering a wide range of subjects that include Mass Communication Research Centre [MCRC], Academy of Third World Studies [ATWS] and many more. Jamia also offers various under-graduate and post graduate level courses in Information and Technology that include B. Tech. (Bachelor of Technology) in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering and Computer Engineering; B. Arch. (Bachelor of Architecture); and as continuing programmes for in-service engineers; BE (Bachelor of Engineering) in Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering And Electronics & Communication Engineering.
The post graduate programmes offered at Jamia include M. Tech. (Master of Technology) (Electrical Power Systems Management), M. Tech. (Environmental Science and Engineering), and M. Sc. (Master of Science) Electronics. This University also awards Ph. D. Programmes to deserving students.
The polytechnic programs in Jamia offer day and evening Diploma courses in Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electronics & Communication Engineering. Apart from this, Jamia also offers various academic courses and extension programs through the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.
Jamia Millia Islamia had recently established a new research centre named The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences or CIRBAS while the Fakhruddin T. Khorakiwala Centre For Information Technology also known as FTK-CIT in short, is a state-of-the art centre situated in a New Building near Ansari Auditorium that offers IT services and facilities to all its staff members and students.
Jamia Millia Islamia University also homes several other education centres that include the Academic Staff College, Academy of Professional Development of Urdu Medium Teachers, Barkat Ali Firaq State Resource Centre, Centre for Coaching and Career Planning, Centre for Culture Media & Governance, Centre for Distance and Open Learning, Centre for Early Childhood Development and Research, Centre for Gandhian Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Centre for Management Studies, Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Centre for Spanish & Latin American Studies, Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations, Centre for Theoretical Physics, Centre for West Asian Studies, Child Guidance Centre, Dr. K. R. Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies, Dr. Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, India – Arab Cultural Centre, Jamia’s Premchand Archives & Literary Centre, Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Academy of Third World Studies, Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women’s Studies And the University Counselling & Guidance Centre.
Address: Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110 025
Phone: + 91 11 2698 1717
Fax: + 91 11 2698 0229