Mohammad Raziuddin Siddiqui

Mohammad Raziuddin Siddiqui, an eminent mathematician and physicist passed away on his birthday, on 2 January 1998, at the ripe old age of 90 years. His father Muzaffaruddin Siddiqui was in service in the erstwhile State of Hyderabad, India.

Siddiqui was a precocious student educated at the ‘Dar-ul-Uloom’ and studied mathematics, science, arts Arabic and Persian. He held diplomas of Rushdia, Munshi and Molvi. He excelled in his studies standing first in the examinations leading to a B A degree of the Osmania University in 1925. The Government of Hyderabad awarded him scholarships to pursue higher studies in Cambridge University (1926–28) and later in Germany (1928–30) and Paris (1930).

In 1928, he completed Mathematical Tripos at the Cambridge University in just two years and received a Ph D degree from the University at Leipzig. He had the rare privilege to study mathematics and quantum mechanics under Einstein in Berlin and Heisenberg at Leipzig. He held a post-doctoral research position subsequently in Paris for a few months, during which he benefited from discussions with the Curies, Langevin, de Broglie and others.

Siddiqui returned to Hyderabad and joined the Osmania University as Professor of Mathematics in 1931 and remained there till 1949. During the period 1943–1948, he held the position of Director of Research in the Institute of Scientific Research of the Osmania University. He was appointed as Vice-chancellor of the University in 1948 and he held the position till the political accession of the State of Hyderabad with the Indian Union. During the period 1931–1949, he published a large number of papers in journals of international repute and participated in several national and international conferences. He wrote a book on quantum mechanics in 1938, probably the first on this important subject from the then British India. Osmania University conferred on him the honorary degree of Science in 1942.

He was a Foundation Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy apart from being the President of the Indian Mathematical Society (1947–1949). He was connected with a large number of learned Societies in various capacities. Toufiq A. Siddiqui, son of Raziuddin Siddiqui recalls C. V. Raman’s visit to their home in Hyderabad.

In 1950 Siddiqui went to Pakistan as a delegate to the Pakistan Association for the Advancement of Science. He decided to stay on as Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematics and also Director of Research at the University of Peshawar. Later, he became Vice-chancellor of Peshawar University (1953–1958), Sind University (1960–1964) and Quaid-e-Azam University (1964–1972) – spanning a distinguished and unique career. He retired in 1972.

He visited India a couple of times after he emigrated to Pakistan. On one such occasion, coinciding with the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of the Osmania University in 1979, he was honoured with the title of the Distinguished Retired Teacher. Subsequently, he wrote a book detailing the history of establishment and development of the University, which was published as a Jubilee memorial volume.

Raziuddin Siddiqui contributed richly to the advancement of science in Pakistan. He was the first full-time Member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and was responsible for preparation of its charter. In recognition of his meritorious service to the cause of science and education, the President of Pakistan conferred on him the civilian awards ‘Sitara-i-Iimtiaz’ (1960) and ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’ (1981). Mohammad Raziuddin Siddiqui was my own uncle (the younger brother of my father).



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