ALIGARH March 5: A five-member delegation of Aligarh Muslim University, led by the Vice Chancellor, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.), today called on the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum to him. The meeting ran for about 40 minutes and the Prime Minister assured the University delegation of positive consideration. Other members of the delegation included Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. S. Ahmad Ali, Mrs Sabiha Simi Shah, Maj. Gen. G.G. Dwivedi, Chairman, Department of Foreign Languages and Dr. Jasim Mohammad, Secretary Millat Bedari Muhim Committee.
The delegation urged the Prime Minister to support the AMU in its legal battle to preserve the Minority Status of the University and discussed with him issues related to the AMU Centres in three states Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar. Lt Gen Shah explained the legality of the AMU Centres and said that these Centres had been approved by the highest policy making bodies, AMU Executive Council, University Court, Government of India and the President of India in his capacity as the Visitor of the University.
The Vice Chancellor raised the inadequate funding to these centres resulting into heavy deficit in development and constructions at these centres. He mentioned that after protracted efforts, a sum of Rs. 45 crores was released on December 4, 2015, which is grossly inadequate. The memorandum pointed out that the Central Government had sanctioned an amount of “Rs. 447 Crores” for these centres. Against this, the University has been given a meagre amount of just Rs. 130 Crores.
The Vice Chancellor also pointed out that AMU is being given lesser funds compared to the BHU, which is of equal size, and Jamia Millia Islamia, which is half of the size of AMU. He also maintained that BHU drew Rs. 300 crores in revised plan allocation of XII plan and Jamia Millia Islamia got Rs. 235 crores while AMU received only Rs. 193.60 crores in XII plan.
The memorandum pointed out that the AMU has recently been judged at position six amongst top ten global institutions of higher learning in India and the University was presently at the threshold of some outstanding researches in the spheres of “Environmental Studies” and Nano-fertilizers in the sphere of the “second Green Revolution”.
AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. Shah also raised the issue of Minority Character of the University. He emphasized that the BJP had earlier supported the Minority character of AMU in 1977 Lok Sabha elections when it contested the elections on the manifesto of the Janta Party. The manifesto clearly stated “a consensus on the restoration of the autonomy and original character of the Aligarh Muslim University, which had been gradually impaired by previous Governments”.
The Vice Chancellor regretted that NDA Government had recently reversed its stand on this issue when the Attorney General Mr Mukul Rohatgi stated in the Supreme Court on January 11, 2016 that the stand taken by the previous Government was wrong.
The five-member delegation urged the Prime Minister that the government to revert to its original stand of supporting minority character of AMU. It would have a very salutary effect on minorities who are agitated and apprehensive that their rights are being trampled upon.
The delegation urged the Prime Minister for supportive action, as it would have a positive effect in further binding the minorities in the national mainstream. The memorandum expressed confidence in the Prime Minister saying, ‘We have full faith in your sagacity and the slogan ‘Sab ka Sath, Sab ka Vikas’. We are confident that you will take all necessary steps to alleviate the grievances of AMU”.
(Dr. Rahat Abrar)
Consultant, Public Relations