Historian Mushirul Hasan, a former vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia university and director general of the National Archives of India, died on Monday morning. He was 69.

Academic Jayati Ghosh, who teaches at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, said Hasan had been on dialysis for a number of years and had sustained head injuries in a car accident in 2014. Though he was badly injured, he made remarkable recovery, she added. “He had tremendous spirit but the last few months he had been very ill and was in and out of hospital,” Ghosh told Scroll.in.

Hasan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007 for his extensive writings on Partition and the history of Islam in South Asia. He served as the pro vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia between 1992 and 1996 and served as vice chancellor from 2004 to 2009.

Ghosh described Hasan as “a very proactive vice chancellor” and credited him with modernising Jamia Millia Islamia. “He also hired a lot of new faculty from varied backgrounds and was able to attract faculty from Delhi University and elsewhere,” she added. “He was anxious to fill the university with good people but faced some resistance and there were court cases. This is the period when Jamia Millia Islamia emerged as a quality institution and not just a minority one.”

Historian Syed Irfan Habib said Hasan was one of the most prolific historians of modern Indian history. “Saw him decline gradually over the past few years after the terrible accident,” he tweeted.

Ghosh said prayers for Hasan will be performed on Monday afternoon and he will be buried at the Jamia graveyard.

Corrections and clarifications: The headline of the article has been updated to state that Mushirul Hasan was 69 years old when he died.