Born on 7th February 1912 at Badayun (India), died after a brief illness in Karachi on December 6, 1974 at the age of 63 years, thereby bringing an end to a productive era as a professor, Researcher, Philosopher and Academician of 40 years standing.
Starting his brilliant academic career at the Aligarh Muslim University, Professor Qadri joined the Department of Zoology as a Lecturer in 1933, after passing his M.Sc., with First Class First.
He started research under the guidance of Professor M. Babar Mirza and took his Ph.D. in Entomology in 1936 which was the first doctorate in science awarded by the Aligarh Muslim University. Soon after Dr Qadri went to Cambridge University, from where he obtained his second Ph.D. in a record time of 18 months in the year 1938 under the guidance of Professor A.D. Imms.
He returned to his alma mater and immediately set up a School of Entomology. He was given a number of research projects by the Imperial Council of Agriculture Research and as a result of commendable work done by him, the School of Entomology was listed by the Government of India as the pioneer of its kind among the Indian universities.
Professor Qadri and his School of Entomology continued its activities at the Aligarh Muslim University with all the zeal till 1950 when he was called to Pakistan to plan and advise on the newly established University at Karachi.
Before leaving for Pakistan Professor Qadri was awarded D.Sc. degree on his published work in Entomology. This begin also the first D.Sc. degree that was awarded by the Aligarh Muslim University.
On his arrival in Pakistan Professor Qadri held the position of Forest Entomologist and then as Quarantine Entomologist before joining as Head, Department of Zoology in the University of Karachi in 1952.
Simultaneously, he was also made the first Dean of the Faculty of Science to which post he continued till 1973, except for a break of three years. He was appointed Professor of Zoology in 1954 and retired from this position in 1973.
After retirement Dr Qadri was made the first Professor Emeritus of the University of Karachi along with which he took over as principal Investigator and Director of a number of research projects in Entomology and Wild Life and this position he held till his death. Professor Qadri’s dedicated service spread well over 40 years.
He produced a large number of research papers and also introduced a number of new concepts in the Field of Insect morphology, particularly on the piercing and sucking mechanism of bugs and lice and the genitalia of Orthoptera.
His works are quoted in several standard textbooks of Entomology, published in UK, France, Germany and USA. His book on the birds of Pakistan is under print and well be the first publication of its kind in the country.
Dr Qadri was elected Fellow of several International and National Academic Bodies, including the Royal Entomological Society, London, Zoological Society, London; National Institute of Science, India; Pakistan Academy of Sciences; Pakistan Association for Advancement of Science; Scientific Society of Pakistan; Pakistan Association of Scientists and Scientific Professions, etc.
He was also associated with several bodies connected with education and research. He was the Secretary of All India Muslim Education Committee appointed by the Quaid-e-Azam in 1945. He was a member of the Pakistan Central Cotton Committee, Agriculture Research Council of Pakistan, Wild Life National Committee, Medical Reforms Commission, Syndicate of the University of Karachi, Senat and Academic Council, University of Karachi.
Dr Qadri was also elected General President of Pakistan Association for Advancement of Sciences, Annual Conference, 1960; General President, Scientific Society of Pakistan in 1962 and Chairman, Environmental Council of Pakistan Academy of Sciences. He was awarded Pakistan Academy Science Gold Medal in recognition of his researches in Biological Sciences in 1968 and President’s Gold Medal for outstanding teacher in 1969.
The Entomological Society of Pakistan conferred upon him Honorary Fellowship in 1973. Professor Qadri traveled widely as a visiting Professor and Scientist and delivered lectures, and conducted seminars at the Universities, Research Institutes and museums of Turkey, UK, Germany and USA.
The Karachi University, Faculty of Science, under the dynamic leadership of Professor Qadri, in a short period of 20 years grew into one of the best Faculties in Pakistan, particularly in Biological Sciences, where in addition to Zoology and Botany, Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Physiology, Genetics and Institute of Marine Biology were established thereby making the complex a coveted seat of learning and research in the country.
Dr Qadri directed and produced about a dozen Ph.D. and D.Sc. in Entomology/Zoology and his students are holding high positions as Professors and Directors in Biological Sciences throughout the country and in Europe and USA.
With the demise of Professor Qadri a fruitful era of loving teacher and friend, a dedicated research worker and over and above a devout Muslim has come to an end. He leaves behind a widow, 4 daughters and 2 sons. His students, friends and fellow scientists all over will mourn for a long time this irreparable loss. May God bless his soul. Amin.
Courtesy: Department of Zoology, University of Karachi.
To recognise the Services rendered by the eminent Scientist Professor Dr Muhammad Afzal Hussain Qadri, Pakistan Post Office is issuing one commemorative postage stamp of Rs 3 denomination on December 6, 1999.