Jamia Millia Islamia, which translates as Community Islamic University, is a public university in Delhi, established by Muslim leaders in 1920.
Under colonial British rule, the university was underpinned by both anti-colonial Islamic activism and the aspirations for independence of politically radical western educated Indian Muslim intelligentsia.
The university’s original teachers were made up of those who had quit Aligarh Muslim University to protest against its pro-British inclinations, and the foundation stone was laid by the radical activist Maulana Mehmud Hasan. At the time, Rabindranath Tagore, popularly known as the Bard of Bengal, called the university “one of the most progressive educational institutions of India”.
Following many years of unrest, and even potential collapse as colonial forces sought to quash it, Jamia was officially deemed to be a university in 1962, and made a central university of India, established by an Act of Parliament.
Since the appointment of a Physical Education Director in 1971, the university has relinquished its amateur approach to sports in favour of a professional one. The picturesque cricket ground in the Jamia Sports Complex, more commonly known as the Bhopal Ground, hosts Ranji Trophy matches every year, and has hosted Women's Cricket Test matches, Women World Cup matches and Blind Cricket World Cup matches in the past.
Jama Millia Islamia has nine faculties: Law; Engineering and Technology; Architecture and Ekistics; Humanities and Languages; Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Natural Sciences; Education; and Dentistry.
Over the many years of its existence, he university has produced many notable filmmakers, actors, and politicians, such as Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and Cabinet Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government Kamal Akhtar.