KARACHI: Serving the nation for over a century and producing leaders and role models for the youth, Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) celebrated its 131st foundation day on Thursday.
According to SMIU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, the institute has the honour of being the very first of its kind in Sindh when Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Burma were one country and Calcutta was the capital.
Sindh education minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, who was the chief guest at the event, said that the provincial government will leave no stone unturned in providing all the necessary assistance to the varsity. “This government’s priority [is] to work for education and [bring] urban and rural education on an equal [footing],” said Dahar while representing Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Lauding the vice-chancellor, Dahar said that SMIU is the only university in the province that offers state-of-the-art technologies. It changed the course of history of the region by producing great leaders, he added.
In his keynote address, Shaikh said that SMIU was the dream of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, which was materialised in 2012. He further added that the life of institutions is always longer than human beings and, thus, SMIU will continue its national services in the centuries to come. He also shed light on how the then Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferin, who came to inaugurate SMIU’s main building from Calcutta has played a significant role in the progress and development of the institution.
Salman Farooqui, an alumnus of SMIU and the current federal ombudsman, shared memories of his student life at Sindh Madressatul Islam College and said that they used to organise programmes of national level which were attended by leaders such as Fatima Jinnah, Abdul Rab Nishtar, Maulvi Abdul Haq, Josh Malihabadi and Dr Umar bin Mohammad Daudpoto, among others.
According to the Russian consul-general in Karachi, Oleg Avdeev, the institute has unique academic tradition as it is one of the oldest educational institutions of Pakistan. Modern education is being imparted to students with the help of a large number of Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) holders, he added.
“We need more campuses of SMIU in Sindh,” said Sikandar Ali Shoro, the special assistant to CM on science and technology. He also suggested that lectures should be shared through video conferences to the rural areas of Sindh to make the most of the capabilities of the teachers.
Former education minister Pir Mazharul Haq said that he had, as the provincial education minister, piloted the bill of SMIU in the Sindh Assembly as it was his grandfather Pir Ilahi Bux’s dream to do that.
“SMIU has not aged, but it has grown and is growing,” said another alumnus, Saifuddin Bandooqwala, who studied at the institute 50 years ago.
The students of the university presented a tableau on the diversity of the country, depicting the traditions of all four provinces and played a documentary, titled ‘Journey of 131 years of the institution’.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2016.