Eminent scientist Prof Tasneem Fatma felicitated
Eminent bio-scientist, winner of RULA “Research Peace Award 2019” and Prof Y S R K Sarma Memorial Award 2018, Professor (Dr) Tasneem Fatma, Pro Vice Chancellor (retired) and former Head of Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia was felicitated by Forum for Intellectual Discourse on Sunday, 6 February, 2022 at a meeting organised in her honour at Abul Fazl Enclave, Jamia Nagar. By Manzar Imam.
The meeting was attended by esteemed academicians, intellectuals, journalists and litterateurs.
A Note of Appreciation offered by Forum’s general secretary, Manzar Imam, read, “Forum for Intellectual Discourse takes great pride in acknowledging and appreciating the valuable services of Prof Fatma as a teacher, researcher, writer, guide and supervisor to the field of life sciences.”
Members of the Forum extended congratulations to the award-winning scientist and wished her a good health, and many more years of active academic journey to serve the nation in general and guide the academic community in particular. Prof Fatma retired from the university on 31st January, 2020.
Prof Akhtarul Wasey, Professor Emeritus, Department of Islamic Studies, JMI who chaired the programme mentioned many of his personal experiences about Prof Fatma’s commitment to research and how she loved her students both in campus and at home. The show, however, was stolen by the innocent charms and refreshingly delightful speech of two little grandchildren of Prof Fatma who said that their grandma was making them proud. Her son-in-law called her the Santa Claus of the entire family and a source of motivation and inspiration.
Chief Guest Prof Qazi Mohd Rizwanul Haque, who succeeds Prof Fatma as Head of the prestigious Department of Biosceinces, said: “The credit for making the department a pioneering centre of learning and research in the entire country goes to Prof Fatma’s consistent effort.”
It was Prof Fatma who ensured that students could avail lab facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She has contributed to the “nurturing and growth of the department” from the days of its establishment. She started the culture of research in biosciences, Haque said. Guiding 42 students of science is something great. With her research in cyanobacteria, Prof Fatma magnified those aspects used for insulin extraction, created bioplastics, discovered system to monitor water pollution. In an age of environmental crises and shortage of oxygen, her contributions assume paramount significance. With a simple microscope you can go to field and monitor pollution. She took science to the field and to people. And that is “real contribution of science,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Naseeb Khan, a noted poet, translator and senior teacher of English, presently PA to Vice Chancellor, JMI underscored the role of a teacher in the academic advancement and generation of temperament for research among scholars. “A teacher” he said, “remains a committed student throughout his/her academic career.” Referring to the National Curriculum Framework 2005 Khan said, “A good teacher considers all students as active participants.” He called construction of knowledge the biggest achievement of a teacher, a quality which Prof Fatma possessed besides being an able administrator. Improvising on a famous Hindi film dialogue he said, “School beings where a teacher stands.”
Coming from an altogether different disciple, Prof Khalid Mahmood, husband of Prof Fatma got emotional while mentioning about how he did not ever try to know which medicine to eat and it was his wife who always put his medicines wrapped in paper with morning or evening written on it. Former Head of the Department of Urdu, JMI and himself a master of both Urdu prose and poetry, Prof Mahmood shared many anecdotal stories of how a literary husband enjoyed the company of a scientist wife to the amusement of the audience which bust into multiple rounds of laughter.
Prof Fatma extended thanks to the participants especially to her students for their academic interest. She referred to a Quranic verse to underline the importance of oxygen, the core component of botanical science to which she has devoted her life as a teacher, researcher and still continues to work on a UGC fellowship.
Dr Faizan Shahid, a teacher at the Directorate of Education, Delhi Government, presented a brief bio sketch of Prof Fatma at the outset. Dr Khalid Mubashshir, Assistant Professor, JMI moderated the programme.
Dr Adeel Ahmad, Dr Neha Sami, Dr Shazia Umair (DU), Dr Anwarul Haque, Kamran Wasey, Fauzia Afreen, Dr Ahmad Ali Jauher (IGNOU), Abdul Mannan, editor, Yojna, Dr Noman Qaisar, Iftikhar-uz-Zaman (Doordarshan), Sajid Zaki Fahmi, Dr Sunbul Afreen, Salman Faisal, Dr Nazia Ahmad and others shared their thoughts and experiences. Dr Qari Shahnawaz, Dr Mohd Mukeem, Dr Jawaid Hassan, S.Z. Mallick, Syed Fateh Alam, Ammar Jami, Abul Ashbal, Abdurrahman, Mohd Rehan, teachers and students of Jamia Millia Islamia and other institutions attended the event.