The Indian education system depends a lot on the central universities but most of these universities are not fulfilling the expectations of students and the nation. In an attempt to sort out the matter of high number of complaints against these universities, University Grants Commission (UGC) on the order of HRD ministry formed 5 committees on 25th April to do an audit of these universities and investigate about the complaints.
Areas of audit
The audit was related to the “academic, research, financial and infrastructure” aspects of the universities. Other than AMU, these universities were audited – Allahabad University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Central University of Jharkhand, Central University of Rajasthan, Pondicherry University, Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh, Central University of Jammu, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha and University of Tripura.
Members of committee
The committee which audited AMU and Pondicherry University comprised of Shripad Karmalkar (IIT-Madras professor), Sankarshan Basu (a professor of IIM-Bangalore), Kailash Soda (Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University VC) and Mazhar Asif (Guwahati University professor).
Suggested name change
The committee that audited AMU suggested that either the word “Muslim” should be removed from “Aligarh Muslim University” and it should be known as Aligarh University or it should be renamed after Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the founder of AMU. The committee suggested the same for the “Banaras Hindu University” as well; however, BHU was not audited by them. The logic behind this suggestion is that it is a centrally-funded university so its name should be secular in nature.
The committee emphasised on the need of more measures to help poor Muslims and also recommended that the procedure of appointment of VC in AMU should be the same as in other universities. Presently, AMU has more decision making power in this context.
In addition, the committee recommended that only those former students should be allowed to apply for job in the university who have passed out for or more than 5 years in order to stop “inbreeding.” Other recommendations which committee made were related to increase in fees and a probe into the matter of promotion of teachers despite the fact that there are no vacant positions available.
Twitter flooded with reactions after this recommendation. Here are few selected tweets:
UGC suggests to drop Muslim from AMU, Hindu from BHU. Great but Why not Christian from all these Institutes? Let no more any Religion name. pic.twitter.com/msBU06xM7u
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) October 9, 2017
Off with ‘M’ from AMU, ‘H’ from BHU. Name-change is an obsession. Is this what needs urgent attention in iur Univs? https://t.co/xz6LWLIWlm
— seema chishti (@seemay) October 9, 2017
Can anyone answer?
Change it. I am sure in BHU Muslims get seats but does Hindus are also treated same in AMU
— Ravindra kumar (@smartchap_no1) October 9, 2017
Don’t make a lame issue:
We are happy with the name of BHU And AMU,whatever it is.Secularism is inside us not in institutions!Dont make a lame issue on this
— Sohail Akhtar (@I_SohailAkhtar) October 9, 2017
This recommendation is ignoring history:
UGC wants AMU to drop 'Muslim', BHU to drop 'Hindu' from name: Knee-jerk recommendation ignores history https://t.co/6bBcFTkFpi
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) October 9, 2017
It’s an insult:
By comparing great house of learning (BHU) with seditionist AMU, UGC panel has insulted great patriot MM Malaviya.https://t.co/ja6O0danPo
— Hari Om (@Prof_HariOm) October 9, 2017
No educational/welfare institution should be allowed to use religion name. It should be applicable to all institutions
— Common Man (@syedakhtarkhan) October 9, 2017
The proposal of name change of BHU & AMU by a UGC Committee is unnecessary & beyond its actual mandate of probing irregularities. @ABVPVoice
— Saket Bahuguna (@BahugunaSaket) October 9, 2017
Do you think that the panel’s suggestion of name change should be implemented?