Jamia Millia Islamia happens to be among those universities in Delhi, which do not judge you on the marks scored in school or college. Rather your admission is purely based on your excellence in the entrance exam hosted by the university, which was why I considered applying to Jamia, over others.
Jamia Millia Islamia is a central university, located in the heart of the national capital, Delhi. Its origins date back to the days of our country’s nationalistic movement, living up to Gandhiji’s call to boycott all those educational institutions that were supported or run by the colonial regimes. And thus on the very same principles, the inception of the university took place in 1920 at Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. In 1925, the university moved to Delhi. Nearly a century old, the university has been a platform of knowledge for all age groups, be it a nursery going kid under the Jamia school, which is another body of the Jamia family, to a PhD Scholar.
As for studies, the university offers a broad range of undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma, and certificate courses, encompassing a total of nine faculties, 24 centres, 38 departments and 250 courses. As it is rightly known Jamia is a place that’s “intellectually stimulating”.
Jamia Millia Islamia is known as an institution that means business when it comes to academics, with students spending significant amounts of time in the library and reading halls. Also, the fests at Jamia are modest as compared to other universities.
The beautiful campus is spread over a few kilometres and provides a kind of infrastructure that fosters progressive education with changing times. Over the years, the infrastructure has expanded, with new buildings coming up, as well as labs; for instance, the polytechnic building and the Dr Zakir Husain Library, are newer additions.
The Dr Zakir Husain Library boasts an impressive collection of a number of books, research papers, periodicals and ebooks. In terms of academic instruction, the university has a team of dedicated professors who teach exceptionally well, yet, at the same time give you a global perspective on a certain concept and not one that is limited to one worldview. Some professors are easily accessible, while other are not.
However, all professors, at large, encourage fostering knowledge in the various disciplines they teach, while at the same time encouraging students to indulge in classroom discussions to boost confidence and to be able to share their opinions in a larger community. The university all around the year hosts various educational seminars, lecture series, symposium and cultural exchange programmes that offer the student opinions as well as facts that they are not aware of.
The university celebrates its Foundation Day, known as “Talimi Mela” and its annual fest “Miraas”, which gives a platform for students to showcase their talents, innovation and creativity.
Jamia also has cultural societies including theatre, a debating society and a literary society. As a student of Jamia Millia Islamia, I have tried to reap all the benefits that the university has to offer.
The university is very acclaimed when it comes to sports, and boasts of a splendid Sports Complex, which was renamed to Nawab MAK Pataudi Sports Complex in 2016, along with the Sehwag Pavilion and Bhopal Ground. The Sports Complex Offers has facilities for badminton, basketball, cricket, and tennis, amongst others. Students have excelled in various state and national sports tournaments. So much so that many of the alumni have made it to the Indian team such as Virender Sehwag in the Indian Cricket Team among others. Jamia also organises various sports’ inter-faculty and inter-university tournaments.
Students from all states, be it the north, south, east or west, find their place at Jamia. Many students come to the university from Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The university provides for all of its students a free and fair environment where diversity prevails in its truest form. One can easily find students from different departments and faculties and from different years, studying, sitting and sipping tea together, as they have long and enriching discussions. The Student Union is one phenomenon that does not exist as of now on the campus, however, demands for it reverberates in the discourses on the campus on a day to day basis. One of the key elements of the university is that students with diverse worldviews find a space, which is why discussions get more real, and hence, a legacy of sharing, listening and voicing ideas, has become characteristic of Jamia.
From personal experience, attempts have been made by the university to be more accessible for students with disabilities. For instance, there are ramps available at the entrance of all Jamia buildings. Lifts have been installed in the tall buildings in order to make them more accessible.
Unlike several other universities, the institute pays major attention to the attendance, which must be minimum 75%, another reason why students actually study at Jamia! Having said that, one can find students indulging in public meetings, street plays, poster campaigns, and expressing dissent through protests, clearly indicating that it’s not just a place to learn but also to evolve as a person and society and to learn to participate in public life.