AMU has always been in the news, often for the wrong reasons, though many attribute it largely to media apathy. Last year there had been a hue and cry as the BJP govt at the centre was alleged to have been trying to de-tag the university of its minority character.

The new lows touched in Jan 2016 under Ms Smriti Irani, the then HRD Minister in the BJP government who refused to meet the Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah and maintained that all the AMU centres in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar were set up illegally and will not be funded by her ministry.

However bouts of luck has been shining on the institution of late. The University has recently been ranked as the no. 1 university of India by The Times Higher Education Ranking dated Sept 2017. Much of the credit is attributed to the colorful capped Army General Zameer Uddin Shah who, it is said, had lived upto his promise to make AMU the no. 1 university of the country by the end of his 5 year tenure.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has also approved an allocation of nearly Rs. 90 Crores for the Aligarh Muslim University for the next three years. The allocation, as brought out by the University PRO, has been made under the “Capital Assets” on the recommendation of an expert committee constituted by the UGC “to assess the financial requirement of various central universities”.

It seems that consistent efforts of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tariq Mansoor who had in the recent past taken over the reins of the university, have  borne fruits. The University had submitted a proposal, in pursuance of which the UGC had written a letter informing about the above allocation.

A 1989 File Photo of Visit by then H'ble Minister Mrs Margaret Alva - with Principal Zakia Siddiqui and then Vice Chancellor Syed Hashim Ali
A 1989 File Photo of a Visit by then H’ble Minister Mrs Margaret Alva to AMU, Aligarh – with Principal Zakia Siddiqui and Vice Chancellor Syed Hashim Ali alongwith the University Equestrian Team at Abdullah Girls College, AMU

As brought out by the University PRO, the itemized allocation of Rs. 90 Crore funding includes Rs. 30 Crores for 500-bedded hostel for PhD students, Rs. 20 Crores for establishment of College of Nursing and Para Medical Sciences, Rs. 10 Crores for renovation of Halls of residence, Rs. 4 Crores for renovation of 100 existing classrooms, Rs. 5 Crores for conversion of 100 classrooms into Smart Classes, Rs. 2 Crores for the establishment of an Examination Centre at Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College, Rs. 5 Crores for campus development, Rs. 2 Crores for books and journals, Rs. 10 Crores for Equipment and ICT and Rs. 2 Crores for other infrastructural development.

However, its brought out that the UGC has made an allocation of Rs. 45 Crores for the year 2017-18 out of the above allocation, which would facilitate Rs. 10 Crores for 500-bedded hostel for PhD students, Rs. five crores for establishment of College of Nursing, Rs. five crores for renovation of Halls of residence, Rs. two Crores for renovation of 100 existing classrooms and Rs. two crores for conversion of 100 classrooms into Smart Classes.

Apparently happy on the development, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Tariq Mansoor said that the funding will greatly support the ongoing projects and will help enhance various kinds of facilities in the University. He said that the allocation under equipment and Information and Communication Technology, will further augment the University’s efforts to spread the Wi-Fi cover to all the departments, offices and halls of residence.

The press release quotes Prof. Mansoor, saying that the Hall of residence for PhD students will help solve the residential problems to some extent while establishment of College of Nursing and Para Medical Sciences will help the University to start employment oriented courses.

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