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There is Little Justification to Run AMU Off Campus Centers: UGC Audit Report

As per AMU documents, mentions the audit report, “The avowed objective of the projects was to increase the equitable access to education and to provide modern and scientific education to aspiring and deserving students Muslim community.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:December 7, 2017, 8:36 AM IST
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There is Little Justification to Run AMU Off Campus Centers: UGC Audit Report
File photo of the main gate of Aligarh Muslim University campus.
New Delhi: The University Grants Commissions’ audit report on Aligarh Muslim University suggests to the government that there is little justification to run the off campus centers of the varsity in Kishanganj, Mallapuram and Murshidabad. The document says, “There seems to be little justification to support the off campus in Mallapuram, Murshidabad and Kishanganj. The centers should be emerged with nearby universities.”

As per AMU documents, mentions the audit report, “The avowed objective of the projects was to increase the equitable access to education and to provide modern and scientific education to aspiring and deserving students Muslim community.

The three centers were proposed to cater to the educational and training requirements of youths of most economically and educationally backward Muslim minority community of the country and locating these centers in minority dominated districts/states as well as within the provisions of AMU Act… Since the AMU campus at Aligarh has reached maximum capacity and possibility of expansion is minimal… and further since AMU has been given the mandate to provide the doorstep education to the Muslim community … AMU is duty bound to expand its boundaries from Aligarh to all centers in the country.

In the following para the audit report brings out the numbers of Muslim population in Murshidabad and Mallapuram on one hand and Dhubri in Assam and several districts in Jammu and Kashmir on the other hand. According to the UGC audit report, other than several districts of Jammu and Kashmir where 95% of the population is Muslim and Dhubri in Assam with 74.3%, Mallapuram has 68% while Murshidabad in West Bengal and Kishanganj in Bihar have 67.4% and 63.7% of Muslim population. “Prima facie its rather intriguing why on the basis on justifications adduced, Dhubri in Assam with Muslim population 74.3% (highest after J&K) and located in Assam, in the north east did not qualify as one of the center and accorded the honor, especially when it is located in the north east where 10% is mandated to be spent from Plan expenditure. According to the audit report a total of 3756.69 was the planned expenditure for the three AMU centers.

The issue seems to have returned to haunt the university that once dealt with the issues of “legality” and “fund crunch” in these centers at the time of the former minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani and the then Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lt General Zameeruddin Shah. Irani had objected to these centers and called them “illegal” and “not to be funded” when Shah landed for the meeting at the minister’s office with Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy. The leader opposition attacked the minister for “insulting the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.”

What followed was a series of clarifications from the AMU VC Lt Gen Shah, who “Irani harming AMU’s growth.” He also had a meeting with her where she expressed her desire to “encourage research in these centers.” With Prakash Javadekar as the minister of HRD it remains to be seen what the government will do for the off campus centers of Aligarh Muslim University.

The audit report has also made note of the alumi’s role and questioned their selflessness, “Not all alumni are selfless and wishing to be involved in the day to day activity of the university. Their representation in the AMU Court should be pruned if not done away with.” The AMU Court is a highest body, which gives representation to alumnis and other luminaries. As reported in the media in the past audit report wants secular names for the universities AMU and BHU preferably named after their founders Syed Ahmed Khan University and Madan Mohan Malviya University.
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