Sir Ziauddin Ahmad (Urdu: ضیاء الدین احمد, born Ziauddin Ahmed Zuberi (Urdu: ضیاء الدین احمد زبیری) on February 13, 1878 – died December 23, 1947) was an Indian mathematician, parliamentarian, logician, natural philosopher, politician, political theorist, educationist and scholar. He was also one of the the longest serving Vice Chancellors and later on Rector of Aligarh Muslim University, India.
He was born on February 13, 1878, in Meerut, British India and received his high school education at Meerut. He obtained his Intermediate from Allahabad University in 1893 and then B.A with Mathematics at Aligarh in 1895 with distinction and won strachey Gold Medal. He was appointed as Assistant Master in M.A.O. College. He pledged to Sir Syed that he would dedicate his life to MAO College and left the job of deputy collector at the time when the salary and prestige of the two post varied considerably.
His academic career won him the scholarship to join the Cambridge University, England in 1901 from where he took his mathematical Tripos topping the university and became a Wrangler. He obtained his Ph.D degree in 1905 from Gottengen University in Germany. For further education, Ziauddin joined Paris University and later Bologna University Italy and then on return to India, he joined the alma mater as a Professor of Mathematics.
It was his efforts that a Medical and Engineering college were founded and the Aligarh Muslim College was converted to Aligarh Muslim University where Ziauddin Ahmad worked as a Lecturer, professor, principal, Pro Vice Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Rector respectively. Ziauddin can be reckoned as next to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in the spread of education among the Muslims who owe him a profound sense of gratitude.
Ziauddin played a dominant role in the renaissance of Muslim education in the Indian sub-continent after Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and faithfully carried on the torch of education right to the rank and file of the Muslims throughout the sub-continent. As a successor of Syed, he carried on the task of educating the people in the teeth of opposition when he proceeded to England to receive the coveted Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship. In 1917 Ziauddin was also appointed member of the Calcutta University Commission of which Sir Michael Saddler was the President.
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 member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of UP in 1919 and 1922. The second Muslim Kamboh Conference held at Marehra (District Etha U.P) on 21 and 22 April 1935 in Marison Islamia School was presided over by Ziauddin.
He was one of the earliest members of the All-India Muslim League. Ziauddin became the Parliamentary Secretary of the Muslim League in the Central Assembly of India in 1938. Ziauddun remained member (M.P.) of Central Assembly of India from 1930 till 1947. In 1946, he was the chief whip of the Muslim League in the Central Assembly. He was awarded the title of Sir by the Government of India.
Earlier, he did M.A. (Mathematics) from Calcutta University and from Allahabad University in 1897 and 1899, respectively and then D.Sc. from Allahabad. He was the first Muslim who obtained D.Sc. (Mathematics). He joined Trinity College, Cambridge in 1901 for Honors Degree in Mathematics and graduated with excellence by securing the first position. He was also awarded Sir Isaac Newton Scholarship in 1904, a rare academic honour that was ever conferred on an Indian. He was made a member of the Mathematical Society of London and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He did his Ph.D. from Gottingen University, Germany. He also visited Paris University in France and Bologna University in Italy for advanced studies in the field of modern Geometry.
On his return in 1906, 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. He was the first Indian Principal of the M.A.O. College and became its first Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He was elected Vice-Chancellor in 1934 and remained so until 1946 with a couple of breaks for several reasons, and thus became the longest serving Vice-Chancellor in the history of Aligarh Muslim University. He was also appointed Rector of the University. He was a great parliamentarian. He was appointed a Member of State Assembly in 1919 as representative of Allahabad University. He was elected a Member of Central Assembly in 1930. His close association with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan made him the embodiment of dignity, excellence and virtue.
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