Jamia Millia Islamia, an institution originally established at Aligarh in United Provinces, India in 1920 became a Central University by an act of the Indian Parliament in 1988. In Urdu language, Jamia means ‘University’, and Millia means ‘National’.
The story of its growth from a small institution in the pre-independence India to a central university located in New Delhi—offering integrated education from nursery to research in specialized areas—is a saga of dedication, conviction and vision of a people who worked against all odds and saw it growing step by step. They “built up the Jamia Millia stone by stone and sacrifice by sacrifice,” said Sarojini Naidu, the nightingale of India.
Shifting to the New Campus
On 1 March 1935, the foundation stone for a school building was laid at Okhla, then a non-descript village in the southern outskirts of Delhi. In 1936, all institutions of Jamia, except Jamia Press, the Maktaba and the library, were shifted to the new campus. The basic emphasis of Jamia was on evolving innovative education methods. This led to the establishment of a teacher’s college (Ustadon ka Madrasa) in 1938. In 1936, Dr. M.A. Ansari passed away. On 4 June 1939, Jamia Millia Islamia was registered as a society.
Deemed to be University
In 1962, the University Grants Commission declared the Jamia a ‘deemed to be University’. Soon thereafter, the School of Social Work was established in 1967. In 1971, Jamia started the Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, to honour Dr. Zakir Husain, who had passed away in 1969. BE course in Civil Engineering commenced in 1978; in 1981, the faculties of Humanities and Languages, Natural Sciences, Social Science, and the State Resource Centre were founded. In 1983, it started the Mass Communication Research Centre and the Centre for Coaching and Career Planning. In 1985, it established the Faculty of Engineering & Technology and the University Computer Centre. Academic Staff College and the Academy of Third World Studies followed in 1987 and 1988.
By a Special Act of the Parliament, Jamia Millia Islamia was made a central university of India in December 1988.