Why Does the UGC Want to Drop the ‘M’ from AMU?

A University Grants Commission panel went beyond its mandate to suggest that Aligarh Muslim University drop the word Muslim from its name. Such a recommendation has been made by government authorities and parliamentarians in the past as well. But in the highly vitiated and polarised atmosphere prevailing in the country today, it can be seen by Muslims as yet another assault on their symbols and institutions.

A University Grants Commission (UGC) panel, formed to probe into alleged irregularities in central universities, in October 2017 suggested that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) should drop the words “Muslim” and “Hindu” from their names. In their eyes, these religious markers are incompatible with the secular character of these institutions. Changing names was not a part of the panel’s mandate: their mission was to investigate the finances, infrastructures, and academic conditions of 10 central universities. BHU was not even a part of this list. Yet, changing AMU’s and BHU’s names appeared important enough for the panel to include this recommendation in their report. As if there was a direct connection between the universities’ denominational character and their infrastructural, financial or academic problems. As if changing their names would help address these issues and make the two institutions more secular.

Nothing New about the Suggestion

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Updated On : 10th Jan, 2018

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