Dubai: UAE-based alumni of India’s prestigious Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were among the winners in the first-ever global awards for AMU alumni, held in Dubai on Saturday.
Ten of the total 17 winners in the Sir Syed Global Excellence and Leadership Awards 2018 were AMU graduates based in the UAE, including Tariq Chauhan, Group CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group, who won the ‘CEO Global Award’ category.
The awards are named after AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
The ceremony was organised by UAE-based Vertex Events, which plans to hold the awards every year in various international locations.
Pushkin Agha, managing director of Vertex Events, told Gulf News: “This is the first event held to recognise AMU alumni who have excelled in their field. Leading establishments such as Forbes and Harvard University have awards for their alumni. AMU is a prestigious institution that is almost 100 years old, but our alumni are mostly spread around the world. So this event will bring them together and recognise their achievements on an international platform.”
Agha, himself an AMU engineering alumni from the 1998 graduating batch, added that alumni flew in from the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and India for Saturday’s event.
Around 500 alumni and guests attended the event, which included a panel discussion on education and gala dinner.
Among Saturday’s winners were Hamid Ansari, former vice-president of India (administration excellence); US businessman Dr Frank Islam (philanthropist excellence); and Indian filmmaker Anubhav Sinha (filmmaker award).
Dr Islam, who is of Indian origin, recently donated $3 million (around Dh11 million) to AMU for a new complex for business management studies, Agha said.
The lifetime achievement award went to AMU chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, whose representative from India collected the award on his behalf. The AMU chancellor and vice-chancellor are appointed by the President of India.
Special guests included AMU vice-chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor, who presented a keynote address at the gathering. Mansoor said he was pleased with the grants support extended to AMU by the central government in India, adding that new courses and a new building would be added to AMU. Mansoor also plans to discuss AMU’s agreements with American University in UAE and University of Sharjah during his visit.
Other special guests included former AMU vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah, a retired lieutenant general of the Indian Arm. He was among the panellists in a discussion on education at the event, moderated by senior India journalist Rifat Jawaid. Other panellists included Chauhan and Syed Ali Rizvi from the US tech firm Resolv corporation.