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Naima Khatoon Appointed as AMU VC, Third Woman to Lead Central University

Naima Khatoon

In a historic stride towards gender inclusivity, Naima Khatoon has been selected as the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), marking a significant milestone as the first woman to ascend to this esteemed position in over a century. The Ministry of Education (MoE), under the auspices of President Droupadi Murmu, the University’s Visitor, confirmed Khatoon’s appointment on Monday, heralding a new era of leadership at the prestigious institution.

With her induction, AMU joins the ranks of only three central universities to have a woman at the helm, alongside Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia University. Khatoon’s trajectory to this pinnacle of academic leadership is marked by a distinguished career within AMU’s academic and administrative spheres.

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This groundbreaking decision was not without procedural diligence, as the Election Commission of India (ECI) was also consulted to adhere to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in place. The appointment of Khatoon not only signifies a personal triumph but also underscores a broader trend towards gender diversification in higher education leadership.

Commencing her professional voyage as a lecturer at AMU in 1988, Khatoon steadily ascended the academic ladder, culminating in her appointment as Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Psychology before assuming the role of Principal at Women’s College in 2014. Her multifaceted contributions extend beyond the confines of AMU, encompassing teaching stints at the National University of Rwanda and various administrative responsibilities within the university.

Khatoon’s academic prowess is underscored by her PhD in Political Psychology, a testament to her scholarly dedication and intellectual breadth. Her research endeavors have traversed international boundaries, with presentations at esteemed institutions worldwide, highlighting her global footprint in academia.

Beyond academia, Khatoon’s literary acumen shines through her authorship and editorial contributions to six books, alongside numerous publications in national and international journals. Her expertise spans diverse domains, including clinical, health, applied social, and spiritual psychology, reflecting a multifaceted intellect committed to advancing human understanding.

Acknowledged for her holistic excellence, Khatoon’s accolades include the prestigious Papa Mian Padma Bhushan Best Girl Award, a testament to her unwavering commitment to academic and personal excellence.

However, Khatoon’s journey to the pinnacle of academic leadership was not devoid of controversy, with her inclusion among the shortlisted candidates sparking debates over potential conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, her selection by the 27-member Executive Council (EC), amidst a pool of 36 applicants, reaffirms her meritocratic ascendancy and underscores AMU’s commitment to fostering inclusive leadership.

In Khatoon’s appointment, AMU not only welcomes a trailblazer but also heralds a new chapter of gender equity and academic excellence, embodying the progressive ethos of a venerable institution poised to shape the future of higher education.