Riyadh: Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News Staff
Publication Date: 
Sun, 2012-05-06 02:07

The main objective of the MoU is to promote combined efforts in the field of culture, exchange of expertise and restore a number of rare and valuable manuscripts for studies and research.
On behalf of JMI, the agreement was signed by Najeeb Jung, JMI vice chancellor, at a brief ceremony here. Dr. Fahad Al-Semmari, DARAH's secretary general, inked the cooperation agreement from the Saudi side, according to a DARAH press statement. The JMI, which has announced plans to admit children of the alumni on a preferential basis, has taken up the task of restoring, editing, translating and publishing rare manuscripts in the possession of the university library since the inception of the university.
Speaking at a community function Friday night, Jung spoke about the growing relations between Jamia and Saudi institutions. On the question of legacy preferences to be given to alumni's children, he assured his full support. The plan for legacy admission, if it complies with the constitutional provisions and then eventually approved, will benefit hundreds thousands of alumni who have been living and working in the Gulf states, especially in the Kingdom.
The announcement about the legacy preferences was made by Jung at a reception hosted in his honor. Jung is currently visiting the Kingdom with Zikrur Rahman, director of India Arab Culture Center, to boost JMI's ties with the Riyadh-based King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research & Archives, King Saud University and Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University. Jung's talks with Saudi institutions will also focus on the contours of future relationships.
The reception organized by Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA) here Friday night was attended by diplomats, community leaders and professionals as well as reporters. Prominent among them were Manohar Ram, deputy chief of Indian mission; Khursheed Anwar, JMIAA president; Zafar Bari, general secretary, and Syed Aftab Ali Nizami, vice president.
Referring to the proposal for giving preference to the children of JMI alumni, Jung said: "Legacy admission is most common in many academic institutions around the world. We will review the constitutional provisions to give preference to the students on their familial relationship with the JMI." He pointed out that JMI is one of the eight top class universities of India.
He added: "The JMI college of architecture occupied second position in India in terms of course contents, faculty and the professionals it has produced in the past. I am also pleased to note that seven students, who were coached at the Center for Coaching and Career Planning at Jamia have written their own successful stories by securing places in the prestigious Civil Services Examinations of India this year. To this end, it is important to note that Jung himself led the team of a panel which conducted the mock interviews for the candidates.”
Speaking about the progressively growing relations between Saudi Arabia and India, Manohar Ram recalled the visit of King Abdullah to India in 2006 and that of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Riyadh in 2010. He pointed out that “a delegation of the Kingdom’s Shoura Council will visit India this week to promote friendship and cooperation in the field of parliamentary affairs."
Ram acknowledged the contributions of huge Indian diaspora not only in building the modern Saudi nation but also in alleviating the sufferings of distressed Indian workers. “The Indian embassy with a team of 120 diplomats and support staff exert all possible efforts to solve the problems faced by Indian workers,” said the mission’s deputy chief, while referring to the growing workload on the Indian missions. He pointed out that the embassy has been issuing 500 to 600 passports on a daily basis.
“On the other hand, five death cases of Indian workers on average are registered on a daily basis, whereas the embassy also receives 8 to 10 labor-related complaints every day,” said Ram, while referring to the growing ties between Riyadh and New Delhi in politics, economy, defense and culture. "On a cultural front, the India Arab Culture Center (IACC) has forged closer ties with Arab countries," said IACC chief Rahman, while addressing the guests.
Rahman pointed out the IACC had gone a long way in promoting Indo-Arab ties, in fostering exchange of information about culture and heritage and in taking several affirmative actions in this regard. He said: "The center had started a doctorate program in Gulf studies, the first of its kind in the Indian subcontinent, which will further help to rediscover the relations between Indian and the Gulf as bloc." A plan to establish a petroleum engineering department is also in the pipeline, he added.
Rahman added a world-class library primarily with rich Arabic titles and materials had been established at the center in cooperation with Kuwait. In his address to the audience, JMIAA President Anwar thanked Jung for providing an opportunity to socialize with the alumni. Speaking on his part, JMIAA General Secretary Bari said a 50-bed medical center named after Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah was recently inaugurated at Jamia campus recently.
Bari demanded hostel facilities for NRI children on priority basis, lowering of fees of NRI children, creating JMI education centers across India and promotion of Urdu as a language. Jung and Rahman were also presented with commemorative plaques. JMIAA vice president Nizami gave a vote of thanks. A number of prizes were also handed over by the JMI chief to children.

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