Born On: April 1, 1937
Born In : Kolkata, India
Career : Diplomat and Vice President of India
In his illustrious career that spun over forty-five years, Mohammad Hamid Ansari has worked in various disciplines in the offices of the Government of India. He is a seasoned writer in various news dailies and other print media. He is also a Padma Shri awardee. Read on to know more about the life and accomplishments of Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
Ansari was born in Kolkata, India. However, his roots belong to Ghaziapur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He pursued his studies at St. Edwards High School in Shimla. Later he attended the St. Xavier's College of the University of Calcutta and then enrolled himself at the Aligarh Muslim University where he completed an MA in Political Science in 1959. He is the grand nephew of Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, the former President of the INC (Indian National Congress) and also the founder of Jamia Millia Islamia. While he was studying in the Aligarh Muslim University, Ansari was an active member of his college's cricket team. He was the wicket keeper of the team.
After completing his Master's degree from the Aligarh Muslim University, Ansari worked as a lecturer in AMU for two years. He then wrote a UPSC exam and secured the 4th rank. He joined the Indian Foreign Service as a diplomat in 1961. He served the country as an IFS officer in various countries. He served as ambassador to United Arab Emirates from 1976 to 1980 and as Chief of Protocol, Government of India from 1980-1985. Later, he rendered his services in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University from 2000 to 2002. He was also a writer in different news papers on various issues. In 2006, he was appointed the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities. He was also appointed the Chairman of the Petroleum Ministry's Advisory Committee on Oil Diplomacy for Energy Security. He also served as Chairman of the "Confidence Building Measures across Segments of Society in the State". This was group a created to focus on issues in Jammu and Kashmir. He served as a co-chairman of the India-U.K. Round Table Conference and also as a member of the National Security Advisory Board. Ansari is a permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and is also a trustee of the Bapu Sadbhavana and Shiksha Trust. On March 2007, he surrendered the charge of Vice-Chancellorship of the Aligarh Muslim University and handed it over to Prof. Saleemuddin Siddiqui and went back to New Delhi to lead a life of retirement.
Ansari played a vital role in distributing compensation to the Gujarat riot victims. He also backed a thorough re-look into the rehabilitation of all the riot victims since 1984. He wrote numerous articles on the west asian crises. His article named "Alternative Approaches to West Asian Crises", (The Hindu, May 5, 2006), stressed upon the need for the progress of Iran, Iraq and Palestine. In an article named "Et EU, India," (Outlook, October 10, 2005), Ansari was sceptical about India's vote in the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear programme. He also edited the book "Twenty Years after the Islamic Revolution". He played a significant role in distributing compensation to the Gujarat riot victims. Even after his retirement from the IFS, he worked as a visiting professor at the Centre for West Asian and African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Academy for Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He even sent a report to the government, advocating the rights of Kashmiri pundits to return to their homeland. Ansari's deep interest in west Asian affairs saw him taking positions that were inconvenient to the stands of Indian officials on matters concerning Iran and Iraq.
1937 - Was born in Kolkata, India
1959 - M.A. (Political Science) from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
1959-61 - Worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, AMU.
1961 - Joined the Indian Foreign Service, by securing 4th rank.
1976-80 - Worked as an Ambassador in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
1980-85 - Worked as the Chief of Protocol Officer, Government of India.
1984 - Was awarded the Padma Shri
1985-1989 - Worked as the High Commissioner to Australia.
1989-1990 - Worked as an Ambassador to Afghanistan.
1990-1992 - Worked as an Ambassador to Iran.
1993-1995 - Was a Permanent Representative to the UN, New York.
1995-1999 - Served as an Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
1999-2000 - Served as a visiting professor, Centre for West Asian and African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
2000-2002 - Served as the Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
2002-2006 - Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
2003-2005 - Served as the visiting professor, Academy for Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
2004-2006 - Was made Co-Chairman, India-U.K, Round Table Conference
2004-2006 - Member, National Security Advisory Board
2004-2005 - Was made Chairman, Advisory Committee for Oil Diplomacy, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas
2006 - Chairman, Working Group on "Confidence building measures across segments of society in the State", established by the second Round Table Conference with the Prime Minister, Jammu and Kashmir issue, held at Srinagar.
2007-Present - Becomes the Vice-President of India and ex officio Chairman, Rajya Sabha