Mumbai: Acclaimed academician, researcher, an eminent social scientist and a key member of the Post Sachar Evaluation Committee (PSEC) Dr Abdus Shaban on Monday took over as the Deputy Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Dr Shaban's appointment as Deputy Director of TISS is significant for the fact that he is the first Muslim to have been selected for the coveted post.
As Deputy Director, Dr Shaban will work at TISS Tuljapur. The TISS Tuljapur Campus in the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra was set up with the support from the Government of Maharashtra in 1986. It is a 100-acre campus on a vast plateau on the outskirts of the temple town of Tuljapur.
Dr Shaban, a graduate from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), had joined TISS Mumbai Campus in 2003 as lecturer and soon became a professor in India's top institution – again the first Muslim to achieve this position.
Till his promotion as Deputy Director, Dr Shaban worked at TISS Mumbai as Chairperson of International Students of Office, which deals with international relation of TISS (MoUs and faculty, student exchange, etc) and admission of foreign students in different courses offered by the Institute.
Besides being a member of the Post Sachar Evaluation Committee (PSEC) constituted by the Government of India and Dr Mehmoodur Rehman Committee appointed by the Government of Maharashtra, Dr Shaban was the member of the team constituted by the Mayor of London to prepare 'World Cities Culture Report 2012'. The report was released by the Mayor on 1 August 2012 at World Cities Culture Summit in London.
He was also one of the members of the Research Survey Group in Geography constituted by ICSSR, New Delhi, and advisor to the Government of Maharashtra for preparing Comprehensive District Agricultural Plan (C-DAP) for Eleventh Five Year Plan.
He has also been a member in 2006 of the committee on revising textbook 'India: People and Economy', Geography, Class XII, of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
Dr. Shaban's main research focus has been on 'Muslims and Development'. In 2011 he conducted a comprehensive study under Multi-Sectoral Development Program (MSDP) of Government of India for the development of neglected cities like Bhiwandi, Malegaon and Mumbra – the three Muslim dominated cities in Maharashtra.
Dr Shaban also has three books authored by him - two edited books (one from Routledge, and the other from Concept Publishing). The books throw light on Muslim situation at national and meso-regional level to micro-geographies of segregation in Indian cities.
He has also authored a book published by Orient Blackswan which analyses the political economy of crime and space in Mumbai. This book explains how and why certain spaces in Mumbai emerged as religious and caste concentrated areas and how everyday politics contributes to their making.