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Admission policy not `communal’

Sunday 15 May 2005

Special Correspondent

`Policy will not violate secular character’

Some AMU faculty members have called for the withdrawal of the new admission scheme

NEW DELHI: The Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) has challenged the contention of some faculty members that the new admission policy, which comes into effect from this academic year, was `communal’.

The Association, in a press release on Saturday, said that the new policy violates neither Section 8 of the Aligarh Muslim University Act nor the secular character and national outlook of the institution.

The AMUTA said the new admission policy was based on sound constitutional and legal principles, and is consistent with the approach of Sir Syed and secular ideals of the Indian Republic. "The Apex Court has also held minority rights to be the very essence of Indian secularism."

Opposition

Earlier this week, 65 serving and former members of the AMU faculty had called for the withdrawal of the new scheme of admissions based on communal reservations on the contention that it would affect the reputation of the University and the prospects of students. The Association has questioned their contention, since the signatories of the public appeal had "themselves welcomed the implementation of 50 per cent Muslim quota in Jamia Hamdard to the extent that they, then wanted it to be implemented at AMU too." Further, the Association said the University had adopted the new policy after wide consultations. The entire university fraternity is one on the new admission policy. Not a single dissenting note was given by anybody either in the informal brainstorming sessions of the AMUTA or the Academic and Executive bodies (Admission Committee, the Academic Council and the Executive Council) which were involved in framing the new admission policy, it said.

Merit-based

While critics of the policy claimed that the new scheme provided 50 per cent reservation for Muslim candidates, the Association said that "the AMU has adopted a merit-based admission policy to attract better students from all communities, including Muslims, by conducting tests in different zones of the country." Secondly, it will boost the national character of the University, which has shrunk at the moment to Uttar Pradesh and its adjoining States.

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