ALIGARH December 15: Prof. Abha Lakshmi Singh, UGC-BSR Fellow and a retired faculty of Department of Geography, Aligarh Muslim University delivered the first Professor Mohd Shafi Memorial Lecture on his life and work. The lecture was held at the 39th Indian Geographical Conference organized by the Department of Geography, Osmania University, Hyderabad.
In her lecture, Prof Singh said that Prof Mohd Shafi, who was born in 1924 in Jaunpur, had a great yearning for learning and his thirst for quality education took him to universities in Allahabad, Aligarh and London. He did his High School (1941) and Intermediate (1943) from Jaunpur, BA (1945) from Allahabad University, MA (1947) from AMU and PhD (1956) from London School of Economics under the guidance of Prof. Sir Dudley Stamp. His work, ‘Land Utilization in Eastern Uttar Pradesh’ brought him to AMU as a Lecturer in 1948. In 1957, he was appointed as Reader, in 1962, Professor and in 1984, he became Professor Emeritus. He served the Department of Geography as its head for 22 years.
Prof Lakshmi said that as a renowned geographer, Prof Shafi presented several theories which took shape during his stay at London School of Economics under the guidance of his teacher, Stamp. He had picked up the threads of Stampian traditions in Agricultural Geography and his study, ‘Land utilization in Eastern Uttar Pradesh’, was a trend setter for future researches at AMU. From sixties onwards, a new approach in the field of agricultural geography was initiated by him, earning worldwide acclaim for AMU’s Department of Geography. His work on various aspects of agriculture like cropping patterns, crop combination regions, agricultural productivity, nutritional status and diseases, consumption patterns, waste lands, dry land farming, etc., were considered path showing. He successfully guided 34 PhDs and published 13 books and 139 research papers.
Prof Singh pointed out that Prof Shafi was a strict disciplinarian and his meticulous style of working, punctuality and hard work were vastly attributed to his success. He adhered to the 8 am to 5 pm schedule religiously all through his life even. After retirement, he refused to give up and remained creatively active following the same routine.
Prof Singh said that Prof Shafi was busy writing a book on Kazakhastan before his death.
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