KARACHI: The mark the 60 years of Institute of Business Administration (IBA), the institute decided to preserve its history on the shelves for the generations to come.
The faculty, students, alumni, board of governors came together to attend the launch of the book, titled ‘Chronicling Excellence: A history of IBA Karachi’, on the last sunset of December 2015 in the Jahangir Siddiqui auditorium at city campus.
“When we were planning the 60 years celebrations, we felt the need to preserve the history of the institution,” said dean and director of IBA Dr Ishrat Husain while addressing the audience.
There was no proper archives of the institute and much of the documents were missing, he said. Even the main library at University of Karachi was not able to provide all the documents that were needed to chronologically compile the events, he added.
Speaking about the processing of the book, Hussain said that collecting and assembling artifacts from IBA’s history was a difficult task. We needed someone who was familiar with the university’s past and must be up-to-date too, he claimed. “The best we found was Sibtain Naqvi, an IBA alumnus.”
The author of the book, Naqvi remembers how the journey started when he received a phone call from one of the faculty members, Dr Framji Minwalla, in 2013.
The book not only includes the chronological history of the institute, but experiences of more than 100 students who have studied at the institute since 1955. At least one student from each passing batch was interviewed.
“We have used each medium to interview the students,” said Naqvi, adding that students were contacted using WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, Facebook, emails, phone calls. Interviewing these students helped us connect the missing pieces of the puzzle, he added.
Speaking about the changes the institute has seen in past years, he told The Express Tribune that there is a complete contrast in what the institute is today as opposed to what was. IBA has grown in terms of infrastructure, academic fabric and ideas, he added.
Sharing some lighter moments he experienced during the processing of the book, Naqvi shared a comment from a former student of 1970’s class saying that, “Jab IBA ma aya tha to admi tha, IBA ne insan bana dia [when I came to IBA I was a man, but IBA made me a human].”
Concluding the launching ceremony by encouraging the students and audience to know the history of IBA, Naqvi recalls Sabeen Mahmud who used to say, “Kitaab parhen na parhen, khareed zarur len [Doesn’t matter if you read books or not, but do buy them].”
Justice Munib Akhtar was the chief guest at the occasion. As a board of governor at IBA, he recognised that the true assets of the institutes are its students and it is through their contributions that IBA is now a national icon.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2016.