By Mohammad Aleem
We are living in an age of uncertainty and insecurity. Vulnerability to our lives and property has increased manifold in recent times. Constantly we are fighting with the natural calamities like flood, deluge, earthquake, tsunami and other such disasters. Of late, many Indian states like Gujarat, Rajasthan have passed through one of the worst phases of flood where many precious lives have been lost and wealth of billions of rupees has been washed out. Who can forget the devastating flood of Uttrakhand a few years back, which had killed thousands?
In this context, the study of earth and its physical structure and substance holds greater importance. It makes an important place in our day-to-day life.
Prof. Talat Ahmad is one of the India’s leading geologists. He has devoted his entire life to this vast subject.
He came a long way in his career and struggled hard to carve a niche in his chosen field. His firm determination and deep love towards his goal finally paid him due dividends.
For the general people, though this study is very academic and scientific in nature, but it should be highlighted and popularized, so the normal people could also understand the importance of it.
This subject is pretty new to me also. But, a curiosity developed in me while researching on this subject. Prof. Talat Ahmad’s contribution to the Indian geological study is truly commendable. And it has been duly recognized by the different geological bodies, both national and international. He is the distinguished fellow of many top level Indian science academies like Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad.
He has been awarded man times for his contribution in the field of geology like National Mineral Award, from the Government of India in 1994 and J C Bose National Fellowship 2011. He is also the life member of many prestigious societies like the Mineralogical Society of India, Honorary Research Associate of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester, UK, Associate Member, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology Society, Member, Editorial Advisory Board of the Indian Journal of Geochemistry, Member, Advisory Committee for DRS, Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Member, Expert Panel for the Science and Engineering Research Council, Member, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) UGC, and Member, “Deep Continental Studies Program” of the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi. He is also on the editorial board of many top level research journals and periodicals.
He was born as a prodigious child in a middle class family in undivided Bihar in 1955. His home town is Giridih, which is now the part of a newly constituted state, Jharkhand. He did his schooling from Giiridih Higher Secondary School. In 1977, he joined the iconic Aligarh Muslim University to pursue M.Sc, in Geology. He completed his M Phil in Ore Petrology from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1980; and he did his PhD in Igneous Petrology from the same university in 1985. For his Post-Doctoral research, he went to the UK on a Fellowship to the University of Leicester during 1988–89 under a Government of India Fellowship scheme, and another from University of Cambridge under Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) during 1997–98. In 1999–2000, he did another Post-Doctoral Fellowship under the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) with Nagoya University, Japan.
Dr. Ahmad started his illustrious career as a Junior Geologist with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in 1980. He worked there for a year. Later, he moved to as a Scientist-B to the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun. He worked there from 16 July 1984 to 3 September 1989.
Dr. Talat gave his valuable services as a competent teacher in the Delhi University also. Later on, he rose in his stature and was picked up by the government as a vice chancellor of Kashmir University and Jamia Millia Islamia, (a central university) New Delhi, where at present, he is still serving. He is a good administrator. But, his mind and heart lies mainly in his first love, the field of geology.
Talat Ahmad has over 65 research publications to his credit. He has supervised several M. Phil and PhD research studies at the University of Delhi and the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, while serving there.
He has worked on various sponsored projects also which include Geochemical, Isotopic and Geochronological characterization of Granotoids from the Central Indian Tectonic Zones (CITZ) and Central Indian Shear Zones (CISZ)-Constraints on Pre-Cambrian Crystal Evolution, funded by Indo-Russian, ILTP Project, and Proterozoic mafic magnetism in the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ): elemental and isotopic constraints on crystal evolution and geodynamics.
Prof. Talat Ahmad has truly the power to inspire millions of young minds that want to achieve big goals in their lives.
Let’s close this with a wonderful poetry of Tagore:
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
[Mohammad Aleem is Editorial Advisor of India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. His works can be seen on his website at www.mohammadaleem.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]