Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Prof. Akhtarul Wasey is presently working as the President of Maulana Azad University, Jodhpur. In 2013, he received a Padma Shri award (a national honour by the President of India for outstanding achievers among Indian citizens) from President Pranab Mukherjee, honouring him as a distinguished academician, specializing in the multidisciplinary study of Islam and Indian Muslims. He was also conferred Makhdoom Quli Medal by the President of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat and the highest award of Daktur-e-Adab (equivalent to D. Litt) by Jamia Urdu, Aligarh in recognition of his remarkable services for the promotion of Urdu language.
Prof. Wasey is also the editor of four journals of Islamic Studies. He has taught at Jamia Millia Islamia (National Islamic University) in New Delhi. He has worked as the Vice-Chairman of the Urdu Academy Delhi and has been a member of the Executive Board of National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language; and president, vice president, / Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature, India Interfaith Coalition on HIV/AIDS etc. He was also the President of Dargah Committee of the world-famous Chishti Sufi Shrine at Ajmer.
Prof. Wasey has been invited to 65 academic and semi-academic tours abroad including programmes organized/sponsored by UNICEF, (The United State Children’s Fund), UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNAIDS(The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS), UNFP, UNHRC (The United Nations Human Rights Council) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference ISLAMIC JOURNALS.
Prof. Wasey is considered to be a Muslim spokesperson among academicians and has delivered over 400 radio and 300 TV talks along with extensive and frequent writings in different newspapers and magazines.
Mr. Akhtarul Wasey’s experience in the education industry
I am a little disheartened with the word ‘industry’ attached with education. I don’t consider education as an industry. According to me, commercialization of education, which is going on nowadays, is one of the unfortunate things for the country because education is not a business.
In fact, education is a fundamental right of every person to have a good education. However, people are opening colleges because they see it as a good business due to which students with less financial support are not able to get admissions in good colleges.
I believe in working as a co-worker rather than a leader
To be very honest, I don’t see myself as a leader. A leader needs a follower but I always look for friends or co-workers. Everything is best only when it is at its place. Among equals, you may be number one but you must be a part of the same lot to deliver goods with the help of your co-workers.
Maulana Azad University believes in and promotes a discrimination-free environment
This university has a vision of educating those students who were not able to get into big brand colleges due to various reasons like poor financial support or an inability to perform in entrance exams. We focus on them too as they are also a part of future India and we should not ignore them. In fact, we should try to give them the best education that we can.
So, we provide them with an education which enables them to compete with students from well-known institutes. We also make students apply for scholarships so that their financial burden can be minimized. Moreover, we focus on educating girls too which helps Indian girls to have more opportunities to prove themselves in the industry.
Despite the fact that Maulana Azad University is a minority institution, we welcome students from every community, religion and caste as I believe that the lesson of equality should be learned through educational institutes. This will help eradicate the sense of discrimination and racism among them and will help them to grow into a person who cares about the joys and sorrows of others.
Reasons why Maulana Azad University is an apt choice for students
- A lot of parents often tell me that they want their child to be in this university not just because of the good education we provide but because there is a fragrance of brotherhood here as well.
- We are the best possible options for marginalized sections. We are meant to cater those students who belong to the lower class.
The significant role of time management in achieving goals
Time management is a must thing in day to day life. Time management is not only required for people at higher posts, but everyone should adopt it in his/her life. I always visit when people call me for discussions, events etc. Due to my visits to other institutes for discussions, I have been able to introduce my university on big platforms.
Today, people know about our University and we are able to achieve what we desired for. In fact, we are planning for foreign exchange programmes as well and it is all due to my curiousness to make people aware of Maulana Azad University and giving so much importance to my students.
I share a good bond with my students who have been my best teachers
I must admire my students. Each one of them is a gem in himself/herself. As these students are mostly from marginalized sections, they don’t have enough money. So, they don’t waste their time, they are focused, dedicated and committed to their future. So, whenever they want to take help from the University, I am always there for them.
I have always made myself accessible to my students since I was a teacher. I always tell them to learn not only from books but also from life incidents. I have learnt so many things from my students. In fact, they have taught me more than my teachers.
Putting myself in the shoes of students have helped me to take better decisions
I am a learner by habit. I try to attain as much knowledge as I can and learn things from the responsibilities I get. I always put myself in the shoes of others before making any decisions and hence I think from the point of view of students. I don’t force my views on them and I must advise everyone to do the same. Always treat others the way you want to be treated.
Our goal is to provide the best education to students without making it a money-minded business
The purpose of this University should remain as it is now, to give guidance. I don’t want this institute to be a money-making machine. In fact, I would be more delighted if our students excel in human values as much as they do in their careers.
We are proud to say that today, students from other countries, who are already doctors, are coming to our university for PG courses of public health management.
Career and life advice for the current youth and the aspiring students
- One should not bound himself/herself only with the knowledge conveyed in the books, but he/she must be open to learn from real-life experiences as well.
- Students should not think about salary much. Instead, they should be more concerned about their country and their people.
- Students should not forget their moral values and treat everyone equally.