Hyderabad: The Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) here plans to offer a diploma course in Islamic finance from the next academic year to keep pace with the rising demand for the subject.
The one-year post-graduation diploma will be conducted by the departments of Islamic studies and management at the Hyderabad-based central university.
"It will be open to all graduates and will have six papers dealing with different aspects of Islamic finance," Mohammed Abdul Azeem, dean, School of Commerce and Business Management, MANUU, told IANS.
The decision comes close on the heels of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the university signed with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Institute Ltd.
BSE Institute, which offers various courses including one in Islamic finance, wants to set up an institute here in collaboration with MANUU. It plans to offer different courses.
Abdul Azeem, however, feels that setting up the institute was not feasible for now. "We don't have infrastructure for this. It will take some time."
In the meantime, the university will sponsor students for the courses at the BSE Institute in Mumbai. "We have sent the proposal. We will sponsor students for the courses which are useful to them."
The university, which offers M.Com and MBA, last year introduced a compulsory paper in Islamic finance and banking for the third semester. It helps the students gain basic knowledge of Islamic finance and banking.
BSE Institute, which has tie-ups with many international universities and institutes, also plans to design courses for MANUU.
"We will design courses related to specialized financial market. We will design curriculum and course material," Vinod Nair, head of academics and product development, BSE Institute, told IANS.
The institute, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSE, has offered to train MANUU faculty and provide expert faculty and certification.
The institute, in association with Taqwaa Advisory and Shariah Investment Solution, is already offering certification programme in "Islamic banking, finance and capital markets".
The introduction of the course follows the Sharia index introduced by the BSE in 2013 to rank Sharia-compliant companies.
MANUU chancellor Zafar Sareshwala believes the association with BSE was a big achievement for MANUU and will help boost the morale of students, who, he feels, suffer from a sense of inferiority.
He also feels that additional skills will help students get jobs even before they pass out.
"This is the age of plus. If you are just B.Com, it has no value. But if you pass NCFM exam, any brokerage firm can hire you and you can directly start with a salary of Rs 30,000-40,000," Sareshwala, a Gujarati businessman and an aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told IANS.
NSE's Certification in Financial Markets (NCFM) is a certification programme of the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM), a public trust, established by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The BSE Institute prepares students for the course.
Sareshwala pointed out that such certifications were a must in the changing times when even advice for sale of mutual funds and insurance are regulated.
The chancellor, who has also roped in Binani Cement and some other companies to link up with MANUU, feels that courses in Islamic finance can majorly benefit students passing out of madrasas or Islamic seminaries.
"Madrasa students know Arabic and Sharia but not finance. If shaped up, they can do wonders," he said.
Referring to the growing demand for Islamic finance, he said 26 universities in London offered 50 courses in Islamic finance and related subjects.
The Islamic market globally was estimated to be over $2 trillion in 2013 and it is expected to reach $3.735 trillion by 2019.