By Afzal Usmani
Since April 2007, when I started my series on eminent Aligarians (www.thealigs.blogspot.com), which was later moved to www.aligarhmovement.com/aligarians, I was thinking to write on some of eminent teachers of Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology (ZHCOET) AMU Aligarh of our time and had shortlisted few names like Prof. N.A. Khan (Former Dean & Principal) and the author of a book Matrics and Determinants which was prescribed in our Engineering curriculum, Prof. Yahya Ansari and of course Prof. Muslim Taj Ahmad. On the former two, I have very little information as they all were retired even before I joined Engineering College and for later, I was waiting for his retirement which was due sometime in 2010. I have never imagined that, the first teacher from Department of Electronics Engineering with whom I interacted on the first day of my Engineering College life, Prof. Muslim Taj will leave us so early. This is a bitter truth which reminds us the only certain thing in this world which we all know for sure that one or the other day, we all have to taste the test of death.
On 5th November, 1990 when I took admission in Engineering College, Prof. Muslim Taj Ahmad was Chairman of Department of Electronics Engineering, AMU Aligarh. The department of Electronics Engineering was separated from Department of Electrical Engineering sometime in 1988 and Prof. M.T. Ahmad became its Founding Chairman. Even though, Prof. Farid Ghani was senior most faculty member of the Dept. of EE but his extra ordinary leave (EOL) paved the way for Prof. M.T. Ahmad to become the founding Chairman of Department of EE of ZHCOET, AMU Aligarh. Prof. M.T. Ahmad was also became Founding Director of newly established Computer Center since its inception since late 80s till he was a faculty in Dept. Electronics Engineering. He resigned from Dept. of EE sometime in 1994 and moved to Bahrain and was there till 2003 when he was appointed as Principal of Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology, AMU Aligarh.
Professor Ahmed was born on 14th September 1945. He obtained his B.Sc. Engineering degree in 1967 from AMU, Aligarh and completed his M.Tech and PhD from IIT, Delhi in Electrical Engineering. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1967 and was later promoted as Professor. After serving the University for about 27 years he joined the University of Bahrain as Professor. He was the Founder Chairman of the Electronics Engineering Department, and Coordinator of the BE (Evening) Courses. He was also serving as the Director of the Computer Centre. He took over as Principal in 2003 and remained so until his death. He worked vigorously for the up-gradation of the Engineering College to the level of IIT. Prof. M. T. Ahmed was a popular teacher and was loved by his students. He was always ready to help anyone and was always surrounded by his colleagues and students. Professor Ahmed discharged his duties with devotion and dedication. Prof. Ahmed had a long association with Computer Center as its Director from 1988 to 1994, and served the Center in same capacity from 2004 till his death.
After the retirement of Prof. Mohammad Amir Jani as Principal in 1994, ZHCOET does not have a Permanent Principal. Prof. M.T. Ahmad's appointment as Principal of ZHCOET after a gap of almost 10 years was positive news for ZHCOET and its fraternity. Prof. M.T.Ahmad's dynamic personality continued the legacy of his predecessor Prof. Razaullah Khan and gave a new look to the College and played a vital role to push ZHCOET to get upgraded to IIT. Even though it did not happened but ZHCOET witnessed a lot of improvement in the process. During my last visit to AMU in January, 2009, it was a pleasant surprise for me that Prof. M.T. Ahmad took keen interest in my technical talk in Dept. of Electronics Engineering and asked very interesting questions pertaining to the subject of talk and also expressed his desire to play a key role to bridge the gap between academia of AMU and Industry specially to EE. He personally invited me to his office and we had a detailed talk on the subject. He asked me to spend some time in AMU to mentor and guide EE students. I never imagined to be my last meeting with him. His sudden death has shocked entire AMU community and his students and well wishers. He breathed last at Medi City Gurgaon on 8th May 2010. The Namaze-Janaza was offered after the FAZR prayer on 9th May 2010 and he was buried in University graveyard "Minto-E".