Charting a new path for promotion of modern education among Muslims, the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University is now introducing a bridge course to enable madrassa graduates to join graduate programmes in university.
A senior AMU official said the objective behind the initiative was to provide a platform for graduates from Islamic religious schools-- both male and female -- to fulfil their aspirations to enrol themselves in modern education.
This would prepare them to "integrate themselves to the higher levels of academic life and subsequent professional avenues", he said.
AMU spokesman Rahat Abrar said the one-year programme by AMU's Centre for Promotion of Science will initially have capacity of 50 students.
This synthesis of traditional Islamic learning and modern education would open new vistas for the students whose professional avenues were presently restricted to being Imams in mosques, he said.
Abrar said the course would involve interactive techniques for bridging this critical gap between the two radically different forms of education.
Scientific and exploratory knowledge had been an essential ingredient in the early years of Islam, but somewhere down the course of history this tradition had been diluted, he said.
The spokesman said the main concept behind AMU's move was "to open the minds of young Ulemas and reclaim the soul of Islam on the basis of Quranic intent".
The course curricula includes English, Information Technology, personality development, and a course on contemporary Islam designed to broaden their outlook to wean away the graduates from a fossilised sectarian outlook, the official said.