The University Grant Commission (UGC) has formed a four-member committee to study the action taken a report, submitted by the four central universities including Aligarh Muslim University, in connection with the observations made by the commission’s audit report on the academic, financial irregularities committed by the varsities.
The meeting, which is scheduled to be held in December, will suggest further course of action to be taken by the commission.
Confirming the move, the chairman of the committee, Prof Sushma Yadav, also the Vice Chancellor of BPS Mahila Vishvidyalaya, Haryana, said that they are going through the reports submitted by the universities. She told TOI that the first meeting in this regard was held a month ago. The other members in the committee are Prof Kuldeep Chand Agnihotri, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dr Neeraj Tripathi, Registrar of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Joint Secretary, Central Universities, UGC.
The UGC had ordered an audit of 10 central universities last year, at the behest of the HRD Ministry, to probe complaints of financial, administrative and academic irregularities. On April 25, 2017, five committees were formed to conduct the audit.
One of five committees set up by UGC recommended in AMU’s audit report of that the word “Muslim” should be dropped from its name to reflect its secular character. In its report, the committee suggested that the institution should either be called just ‘Aligarh University’ or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. It cited the same reason to recommend that BHU’s name is amended, too.
In its formal response to the UGC in June this year, AMU hit back at the suggestion and said that dropping the word ‘Muslim’ would deprive the university of its unique historic character. Dubbing the panel’s suggestion as outrageous, the then Registrar of the university, Javaid Akhtar said that the panel had gone beyond its brief and has incorrectly drawn a conclusion that by dropping ‘Muslim’ from its name will instil secular values.
In response to the committee’s criticism that the university promotes a culture of inbreeding in which a majority of faculty appointments are its former students, the university students, the university stated that out of 1,410 teachers, 615 have obtained one or more degrees from outside – which is 43.62% of the total. Not only this, of 227 teachers of the Engineering College, 65 have acquired PhD from reputed institutions such as IITs. Moreover, many teachers have obtained PhD from abroad, including reputed institutions such as the University of Oxford in the UK, McGill University in Canada and in the US.
Besides AMU, Central University of Rajasthan, Tripura University and Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University’s action taken report will also be studied by the newly formed panel.