National Commission of Scheduled Caste warns Aligarh Muslim University on SC/ST reservation

In a recent development, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has written to the HRD Ministry, questioning the principle of funding the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) despite failing to implement the reservation policies similar to other central universities.

The Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Ram Shankar Katheria has now issued another warning to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). “This is not Pakistan, the university has to follow the rules,” Katheria, had said. He has earlier warned the university that, if it fails to prove its minority institution status and also follow up its orders of the reservation policies, the commission will file an FIR against the university.

The Commission has ordered the government to present the year-wise details of the grants that AMU received from its establishment till 2018-19.

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Earlier, the NCSC had held a meeting with the University Grants Commission under its chairman Ram Shankar Katheria where the government has presented its new position on AMU’s minority status. The NDA government has reversed its position on the issue of the minority status to Aligarh Muslim University. The government has filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court in 2016 and had informed the top court that the AMU was never intended to be a minority institution, as it was set by an Act of Parliament and is funded by the Central government.

The Uttar Pradesh SC/ST Commission has taken this issue seriously and has followed it with a notice to the AMU, questioning why it has failed to provide the quotas for SCs and STs, despite accepting grants from the Union government. At present, the AMU has close to 30,000 students and a reservation of 15 percent seats should go to SC and another 7.5 percent to STs. “If AMU fails to provide the documents, it will have to admit 4,500 Dalit students and 2,250 tribal students,” Katheria added.

The AMU on the other hand has defended its status as a Minority institution by citing a 1981 amendment made to the original act, which states that, “The educational institution of their choice established by the Muslims of India, which originated as the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College, Aligarh, and which was subsequently incorporated as AMU.” The UPA had always supported the stand of the university and had given the status of a religious minority institution.

Recently, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath had demanded the reservation 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 even universities like Jamia Milia and the AMU.

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