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Sir Ziauddin Hall

About Sir Ziauddin Ahmad

Sir Ziauddin Ahmad was a mathematician, parliamentarian, politician, educationist and scholar. He was also one of the longest serving vice-chancellors and later on rector of Aligarh Muslim University.

Sir Ziauddin was born on 13th February 1878, in Meerut, India and received his high school education at Meerut. He obtained his intermediate from Allahabad University in 1893 and B.A. in Mathematics (with distinction) at MAO College Aligarh in 1895, winning the Strachey Gold Medal. He pledged to Sir Syed that he would dedicate his life to the MAO College and left the job of deputy collector, at the time when the salary and prestige of the two posts varied considerably.

He did M.A. in mathematics from Calcutta University (1897) and Allahabad University (1899) and then D.Sc. from Allahabad University. He was the first Muslim to obtain a D.Sc. in mathematics. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge for an Honours Degree in Mathematics in 1901 from where he took his mathematical Tripos, topping the university and becoming a Wrangler. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1905 from Göttingen University in Germany. For further education, Sir Ziauddin joined Paris University and later Bologna University Italy. On his return to India, he joined his alma mater as a Professor of mathematics. He was awarded Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship in 1904, a rare academic honour. He was made a member of the Mathematical Society of London and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. On his return in 1906, Sir Ziauddin devoted himself to serve his alma mater for the rest of his life. In 1911, he was appointed Secretary of the A.M.U. Foundation Committee as well as Constitution Committee.

It was with his efforts that Medical and Engineering colleges were founded and the MAO College converted to Aligarh Muslim University where Sir Ziauddin Ahmad worked as a Lecturer, Professor, Principal, Pro-vice-chancellor, Vice-chancellor and Rector. Sir Ziauddin can be reckoned as next to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the spread of education among the Muslims.

Sir Ziauddin rendered services to the Muslims of the sub-continent, worked for their progress and welfare and devoted all his life to the eradication of ignorance and illiteracy.

He became a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of UP in 1919 and 1922. He was one of the earliest members of the All-India Muslim League. He remained a member (M.P.) of the Central Assembly of India from 1930 till 1947.

He was the first Indian Principal of M.A.O. College and became its first Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He was elected Vice-Chancellor in 1934 and remained so until 1946 and thus became the longest serving Vice-Chancellor in the history of Aligarh Muslim University. Dr. Sir Ziauddin Ahmad became the first Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics.

Sir Ziauddin promised Sir Syed that he would not leave MAO College and met his promise by leaving Indian Civil Service. He drafted the Constitution of Aligarh Muslim University. He established most of the Departments of AMU. Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad became an Honorary Professor in the Department, working simultaneously as Vice-Chancellor of the University. Because of his love for the subject, he used to take a number of lectures both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed died on 23rd December 1947 in London, Great Britain while visiting the Imperial College London's Mathematics Department. In compliance of his wishes, his body was brought to Aligarh, India and buried by the side of his mentor Sir Syed Ahmed Khan at Jama Masjid within the campus of Aligarh Muslim University