Dear Aligs ASAK,
When will we finally realise that by opposing Vice-Chancellor we are assassinating our own University. Apropos news item in Indian Express and other form of media regarding CBI probe; I am really sad on account of mention of Aligarh Muslim University in the news for the wrong reasons, but such probes are like washing machines; they twist and spin but the outcome is cleaner, brighter and better than before.
The major allegations against the Vice-Chancellor are just confined to illegal transfer of funds collected from students from the university account to the account of a private trust named Sir Syed Educational Foundation, appointment of a retired Brigadier as Pro V-C, although UGC regulations mandate that the position should be occupied by a professor, appointment of assistant professors against vacant positions of professor and associate professor and Collapsing law and order on the campus.
· The first charge of illegal transfer of funds: Sometimes even a horrendous event provide silver lining and Muzaffar Nagar riot was one when the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah realised that the sum collected by the students for riot victims shall be used in establishing a school in that region on the name of Sir Sayed. Fine the government may find it illegal for obvious reasons but I prefer to salute his vision.
· Appointment of a retired Brigadier as PVC: Fine one can argue now but when the VC is appointed according to provisions of AMU Act and not by UGC regulations then why not the PVC also. The methodical financial management by the present PVC Brigadier S Ahmad Ali is visible in the campus.
A close scrutiny of Regulations 2010 reveals that the UGC’s intent was ominous and not for creation of uniformity: the move was just to belittle the autonomy of the Universities and particularly AMU Act of 1981. A sizeable section among us considers UGC a holy cow, the question before the “Alig” community is straight and clear; do we agree to surrender the autonomous procedure of selection of Vice-Chancellor as prescribed by the AMU Act.
It is our considered opinion that the inclusion of qualification and procedure of Vice-Chancellor by UGC in its regulation is blatant misuse of power of superintendence which amounts to arm-twisting of institutions historically superior to the UGC itself. Needless to mention that UGC came into being as University Grants Committee an outcome of Sargeant Report in 1945 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and Delhi; how unfortunate that the same organisation is now intimidating the institutions for which it was established to serve. If all the provisions of UGC regulations are sacrosanct than no other Act of parliament for any other University is required, I think this is not the aim and objective of the parliament either while enacting UGC Act or its Sec 26 or even AMU Act rather parliament was fully alive while doing so; it’s only the UGC which is tempering with the spirit of law. It’s different that 2010 regulations are amended to a larger extent in 2013 and now only qualification of VC/PVC and search committee is retained.
But as things stand now within University it is sadly resembles squabbling bunch of people who have no idea about the spoil this issue is going to create. May I ask what happened to Prof. CBI inquiry against Prof P.K.Abdul Azis. This is India here every single thing is politically motivated, all inquiries, appointments come under this category; the appointment of Noor Mohammad, the appointment of Gen. Shah all were political actions, so it the present CBI inquiry too.
The appointment of assistant professors against vacant positions of professor and associate professor: It was certainly a needlessly invited controversy; the Visitorial advice cited that the practice of temporary appointment of Lecture (Asstt Prof) against the permanent post of Assoc Prof/Professor is violative in the absence of any provision in the University rules. Hence, I suggested in June 2014 that a provision incorporated into the rules will make it acceptable to Visitor’s legal aspirations.
The University by virtue of Section 29 of the AMU Act possesses powers to make ordinances, and its sub section (1)(k) allows the Executive Council to frame the terms and conditions of service of academic and other staff of the University. Unfortunately provide necessary safeguard by incorporating ordinance (Executive) in line with the provision made by other central universities and the same I suggested to the Vice-Chancellor and the then Registrar. However, this action of the VC is done in good faith and there are enough constitutional protection for it.
· Collapsing law and order on the campus: Does this charge sustain any ground when the University is not closed for a day since May 2012; otherwise the reality of law & order in the state and for that matter in the whole country is front of everybody? In my opinion Gen. Shah shall be honoured for this feat. No one can best describe the pain of managing old universities/institutions other than their Vice-Chancellors themselves, hence these universities need special provisions for safety and law & order.
Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah was no ordinary person when he joined AMU as VC; the only issue is that some power wielding mafia of the campus on apprehension of being sidelined always widen the gap between him and the democratic leadership of the campus.
In my opinion Gen. Shah should say to the Alig community:
MaiN kisi kuu E aziyyat se nahi aaya huN
NarGha E sang E malaamat se nahi aaya huN
Apni pahchaan banaayi hai to aaya huN yahaaN
MaiN kisi baab E riyaayat se nahi aaya huN
Although an inquiry is always a blot but it is my considered opinion this inquiry would finally clear all the doubts what so ever and he will come out clean as a Vice-Chancellor who will be remembered in the annals for tremendous development and infrastructure creation and NAAC.
He deserves a standing ovation on his final exit on May 16,2017.
Professor Environmental Engg.
Former Member AMU Court, Academic & Executive Council
B.Sc. Engg (1983)_,_.___