Prof. Moonis Raza


Moonis Raza (2 February 1925 – 19 July 1994) was an Indian academic administrator, regional planner and geographer.

Early life

He was born in 1925 into a family of landlords in the
Ghazipur district Ghazipur district is a district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or County, coun ...

Ghazipur district
of Uttar Pradesh, India. He was the older brother of Mehdi Raza, a professor of geography, and Rahi Masoom Raza, a poet, novelist, Bollywood film lyricist and screenwriter.


Raza completed his higher studies from the Aligarh Muslim University before joining the same university as a lecturer and reader. In 1966 he was appointed as the head of the Department of Humanities and later as the principal of the Regional Engineering College, Srinagar, Regional Engineering College, Srinagar. Raza's tenure as Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi is regarded as one of the least controversial and academically productive in the institution's history. As one of the co-founders of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, he oversaw the landscaping of its campus and the naming of its hostels. Raza is also believed to have strengthened the liberal ethos of Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is fondly remembered by his students for "Raza's Law of Ignorance", according to which "the ratio of the known to the known-to-be-unknown always remains constant". Raza held a large number of positions at departments and commissions operated by the Government of India. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Tufts University, United States, in 1991. He was a creator of and an original signatory to the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan devised by the Association of University Leaders for a sustainable future. Raza died of cardiac arrest in Boston, United States, on 19 July 1994.

Positions held

*Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research * Founder Chairman, Institute for Studies in Industrial Development * President, National Association of Geographers of India * Honorary Director, Center of South Asian Studies * Vice Chancellor of Delhi University * Founder Chairman and Rector (academia), Rector, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University * Director, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) * President, Indian Council of Educational Planners and Administrators * President, International Association for Ladakh Studies * Member, Executive Board of the Commonwealth Council of Educational Administration * Member, Advisory Committee of the UNCRD Nagoya * Member, Executive Board of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration * Member, National Commission on Teachers * National Lecturer in Geography * Professor and Founding Chairman, Center for the Study of Regional Development (SSS), Jawaharlal Nehru University * Visiting Professor, Cornell University, United States


Raza authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books and articles, including ''Atlas of Tribal India'', ''Atlas of the Child in India'',''Valley of Kashmir'', and ''Education and the Future: A Vision''.


People from Ghazipur Aligarh Muslim University alumni Vice-Chancellors of the University of Delhi Indian geographers Indian Muslims 1925 births 1994 deaths 20th-century geographers {{India-academic-bio-stub