July 2004 – Present:    Member, Planning Commission, Govt. of India

In the Planning Commission, my sectoral responsibilities include Health, Women and Children, Minorities, Voluntary Action (Planning Commission is a nodal agency for Govt – NGO interface), Handlooms and Handicrafts, the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar Islands (UT) and Island Development Authority.

July 2008 – Present:     Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu   University, Hyderabad

The Maulana Azad National Urdu University was established in 1998 by an Act of the Parliament as a Central University with an all India jurisdiction. The Mandate and Objective of the University, as per the Act, is to promote and develop the Urdu language, provide higher, technical and vocational education in the Urdu medium and to provide focus on women’s education.  

2004 to present

Member, Island Development Authority (headed by the PM, the IDA was established in 1986 to ensure the ecologically sound development of the country’s two major island chains; Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep).

2000 to present:

Founder Member:     Muslim Women’s Forum (MWF)

MWF is involved in Legal Literacy for Muslim women, voicing concerns of Muslim women to government and interfacing with Ulemas on matters concerning their rights.

Founder Trustee:          Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia (WIPSA)

An organization where women are catalysts for people to people contact in the South Asian region on a sustained basis to bring about a climate of peace through dialogue. Took a Women’s Bus of Peace from Delhi to Lahore and Lahore to Delhi; later Women’s Bus of Peace from Kolkata to Dhaka.

Founder Member:        South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR)

A regional membership based body focusing on human rights issues in the South Asian Region. It consists of members from the 5 countries namely Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It is committed to addressing Human Rights at both regional and national level.

Founder Trustee:          Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation

Serving as an initiative that links the issues of dialogue with justice and equity and through this integral link, serves as a catalyst for both internal and external peace and reconciliation in South Asia.

1997 to 2000:

Member:              National Commission for Women, Govt. of India

National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body under the National Commission for Women Act 1990. The powers of the Commission are listed under Section 10 of the Act and encompassed under clause 10. “To investigate and examine the safeguards provided to women under the Constitution of India and make recommendations to govt. on the proper I looked after the following areas: Muslim Women, Violence against Women, Trafficking of women and children, Women in Prostitution, Political Empowerment of Women including Panchayati Raj, Sexual Harassment at Workplace, Girl Child, Female foeticide and infanticide, Gender and Media


Padma Shri, 2007

Al-Ameen All India Community Leadership Award 2006



They Hang: 12 Women in My Portrait Gallery, Women Unlimited, 2006

My Voice Shall be Heard: Status of Muslim Women 2003, Muslim Women’s Forum November 2003

Mussaddas-e-Hali (Ebb and Tide in Islam) Verse translation of Maulana Altaf Husain Hali’s Magnum Opus consisting of 394 cantos. Harper Collins, February 2003.

Shanti Parasmoni: Women’s Bus of Peace from Kolkata to Dhaka, WIPSA, 2003

Journey For Peace: Women’s Bus of Peace from Delhi to Lahore, WIPSA 2000

Dr. Zakir Husain: Teacher Who Became President, ICCR and Haranand, 2000

Voice of the Voiceless: Status of Muslim Women in India, March 2000

Islamic Seal on India’s Independence: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Oxford, 1998

The Contemporary Relevance of  Sufism, ICCR, 1995

Rubaiyat-e-Sarmad ICCR 1991

India’s Maulana: Abul Kalam Azad: in 4 volumes

-Tributes and Appraisals

-Selected Writings

-Imamul Hind (Urdu)

-Imamul Hind (Hindi)

A Dream Turns Seventy-five (With Khushwant Singh) Allied, 1995

Selected, Introduced and Translated

The Quilt and Other Stories: Kali for Women, 1986

Parwaaz: Kali for Women, 1996


Facts are Facts by Khan Abdul Wali Khan, Vikas, 1998

Letters from Prison by Mohammad Yunus, Vikas, 1985 

Under Publication

Gard and Gardish: Dust and Movement (Working Title): Harper Collins. With Gunjan Veda. This book is based on travels across the country during my Planning Commission tenure and provides glimpses into the unknown, unseen faces of India and its people.

(Under Preparation) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: Protagonist of Greek Tragedy


1972 PhD   University of Alberta, Canada

1965 MA   University of Hawaii, USA

1963 BA Delhi University, India


1994-1997 Indian Council for Historical Research

Worked on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

1991-1994 Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

Worked on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

1987-1991 Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)

Worked on Azad and on Sufism. 

Present Honorary Positions

Vice-Chairperson, SAF-India (South Asia Foundation-India)

Co-Chairperson, Hali Panipati Trust

Governing Council Chairman, Zaheer Science Foundation

Board Member, Olakh

Board Member, Oxfam India

Governing Board Member, India Habitat Centre

Governing Board Member, ActionAid Association

Member, Sub-Committee on ‘Women and the Games’

Trustee Dalit Foundation

Trustee Janvikas, Ahmedabad Gujarat

Trustee, Sahr Waru

Trustee, Sangat Trust 

Past Honorary Positions

Chairperson, Governing Body: Lady Irwin College 

Member Women’s Empowerment Committee, Govt. of NCT Delhi

Member Management Committee: Modern School

Member Delhi Urdu Academy

Member Haryana Urdu Academy

Member National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

Trustee National Foundation of India

Trustee Navsarjan Ahmedabad Gujarat

Board Member, Indo-Global Social Service Society

Governing Board Member Indian Social Institute 


1975-1978:  Executive Assistant to Minister of Advanced Education and Manpower Govt. of Alberta, Canada

1978-1985:  Director of Colleges and Universities. Govt. of Alberta, Canada


1972-1974: Sessional Lecturer University of Alberta, Canada

1965-1967: Lecturer, Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, India 


Resident of Delhi. Born in Kashmir. Travelled in all South Asia, USA, Canada, West Asia, South East Asia, UK and Europe and CIS States. Husband Dr.S.M.A.Hameed (late) was Professor of Business Admin and Commerce at the Univ. of Alberta, Canada. Three children: Dr. Morad Hameed Trauma Surgeon, Vancouver General Hospital, British Columbia, Canada, Yavar Hameed, Hameed Farrokhzad Elgazzar Brousseau, Ottawa and a Law Faculty of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and Dr. Ayesha Hameed, Academic and film maker, London, England.



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