Member's Profile

Smt. Syeda Saiyidain Hameed

Syeda Saiyidain Hameed

Member, Planning Commission,
Government of India.

Tel. No.: (Off.) 2309 6570, 2309 6571, 2309 6666/ 96 Extn. 2120
Email: s[dot]hameed[at]nic[dot]in

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), the states of Rajasthan, Andaman and 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 and 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

Theatre: Dr. Hameed’s love for cinema and theatre began at an early age. As a child growing up in Mumbai, she was exposed to the film world because of her uncle Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, maker of iconic films like Dharti Ke Lal who also wrote stories and screenplays for all Raj Kapoor’s hits. Although she enjoyed Hollywood films, savoured European cinema, admired Chinese and Japanese classics; her favourite has been Hindi cinema. She is recognized for writing reviews for films which are published in different national newspapers. She has worked for a Delhi based Theatre Group, Yatrik. She has also been working with a theatre group Modernites Productions. She is the Chairperson of Faiz Centre, India. She presented "Faiz Ka Manzoom Safar", a poetic journey through the life of the famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in his own poetry through the medium of recitation and music along with Ms. Zakia Zaheer and Ms. Rene Singh. While in Canada, she produced Urdu adaptations of George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde’s Pygmalion and Importance of Being Earnest.


Padma Shri, 2007
Al-Ameen All India Community Leadership Award 2006
Bi Amma Award 2012


Beautiful Country: Stories from Another India: Harper Collins India Publication. With Gunjan Veda. 2012. 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.
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 Preparation

Suneihri Rait (Semi autobiography)
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: Protagonist of Greek Tragedy (Under preparation)


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

Chairperson, Dalit Foundation
Chairperson, Faiz Centre, India
Vice-Chairperson, SAF-India (South Asia Foundation-India)
Co-Chairperson, Hali Panipati Trust
Governing Council Chairman, Zaheer Science Foundation
Governing Board Member, ActionAid Association
Trustee, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies
Trustee, Janvikas, Ahmedabad Gujarat
Trustee, Sahr Waru

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
Trustee, Sangat Trust
Governing Board Member, Indo-Global Social Service Society
Governing Board Member, Olakh
Governing Board Member, Oxfam India
Governing Board Member Indian Social Institute
Governing Board Member, India Habitat Centre


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, Lawyer at Hameed Farrokhzad (HF), an Ottawa based law firm focusing on the advocacy of human rights and teaches a course in Carleton University’s Department of Laws. Dr. Ayesha Hameed, MA Co-Ordinator and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research Architecture  Goldsmiths, University of London.