The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) might land in deep trouble to see its grants from the centre evaporate if it either fails to prove its minority status or doesn’t provide reservation to SC, ST and OBCs, Indian Express has reported.
As per the report, Ram Shankar Katheria – Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), AMU has a month to prove its minority status via legal documents. Katheria who is also a BJP MP, further stated that if they fail to do so, they would have to provide reservation for the backward castes, failing which he would urge the Modi government to stop grants for the university.
The report claims that Katheria met with the university’s pro-vice chancellor and a deputy registrar, during which he asked for the proof of AMU being a minority institution.
As detailed in a Times of India report, thanks to Article 15 (5), minority institutions are exempted from constitutional reservation. The university’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Tabassum Shahab has thus sought to avoid giving reservations by contending that the institution is a minority one via AMU Act, 1981.
There though might be a spanner in the works for the university as according to a Hindustan Times report, the Allahabad High Court had judged back in 2006 that the AMU was not a minority institution. This decision was then appealed by the UPA government.
As per AMU’s spokesperson Shafey Kidwai, the matter of university’s minority status is currently pending before the Supreme Court. The spokesperson also claimed that it doesn’t reserve seats for Muslims but mainly reserves 50 per cent of them for internal students.
Incidentally such a strong push by the NCSC comes after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath similarly demanded that seats be reserved for Dalits at minority-run institutions like the Aligarh Muslim University and the Jamia Milia Islamia. Yogi had argued that if institutions like the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) could provide reservations for Dalits, then so could the AMU and Jamia.