The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) plans to bury a second time capsule, nearly 143 years after the first capsule was buried on the campus in 1877.
The second time capsule will be buried to coincide with AMU’s centenary celebrations in December.
A six-member committee has been set up by Vice chancellor Prof Tariq Mansoor to work out the modalities.
The committee includes Mechanical Engineering HoD Prof Mirza Faisal, Prof MK Pundhir from History Department, Rajiv Kumar Sharma from the Building Department, Sir Syed Academy Deputy Director Dr Mohd Shahid, Urdu Academy Director Rahat Abrar, and Registrar Abdul Hamid.
It has suggested four places to bury the time capsule — Kennedy Auditorium, Sir Syed Academy, in front of the Victoria Gate, and in front of Maulana Azad Library gate near the fountain.
According to Prof Pundhir, the second time capsule will contain the university’s history and its achievements.
He said that the university will take expert advice from IIT-Kanpur since it undertook a similar exercise in March 2010. He said that the container of time capsule made of stainless steel of Grade 410 will be coated with PVC, as these containers have a life span of more than 300 years. It may be filled with an inert gas so that the inner atmosphere of the capsule does not react chemically.
Besides, the documents to be kept inside the capsule will have to be prepared on acid- free paper and placed in a polythene sheet.
“The capsule content may also be scanned and soft copies put on multiple servers of reliable integrity,” Prof Pundhir said.
Dr Rahat Abrar, meanwhile, said that the first time a capsule was buried was on the Foundation Day of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which later became the AMU in 1920, under the Strachey Hall on the campus, in the presence of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and then Viceroy to India, Edward Robert Lytton, which is clearly mentioned in the Aligarh Institute Gazette of January 12, 1877.
He said that according to clippings of newspapers from 1877, the capsule contained the records of the donors (towards the establishment of the college in 1875) and the struggles of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, its founder.
Some silver and gold coins of that time were also placed inside the capsule.
He said that the material/documents planned to be included in the new capsule are Sir Syed’s biography written by Col GF Graham, details of convocation attended by various chief guests, history of the university between 1920 and 2020 in digital and printed format, and academic calendars etc.