A committee set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has suggested removing the words "Muslim" from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and "Hindu" from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to reflect the secular character of these central universities.
The Indian Express reported today that the suggestion was made by one of the five committees set up by the UGC to probe complaints of irregularities against ten central universities. While BHU was not in the audit, ordered by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), the committee mentioned the Varanasi-based university in its observations about AMU.
The committee suggested that Aligarh Muslim University be called Aligarh University or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the newspaper further reported.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, panel members told IE that AMU is a centrally funded university and its name should reflect it being a secular institution.
The committee has also described AMU as a "feudal" institution and called for measures to improve the circumstances of poor Muslims enrolled in the campus.
While underlining the problem of "inbreeding" at the campus, the committee pointed out that the majority of its faculty members were former students of AMU. It suggested a five-year gap before former students could be recruited in the faculty.
In its observation about AMU, the committee does not mention that the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre is opposed to the minority status of the university and the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.
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