Sparks fly as AMU decides to hold entrance tests outside Aligarh

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New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) A recent decision of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to hold entrance tests for various professional courses outside Aligarh has sparked controversy.

The university has, however, asserted that it will continue with its plans despite protests.

Some members of the AMU executive council have challenged the move by claiming that a change in the status quo would have ill effects on the university's efforts to retain minority status.

The members claimed the decision of the Vice-Chancellor to hold entrance tests outside the city was also against the AMU Act. The university plans to hold entrance tests in Bhopal, Kozhikode, Kolkata and Pune for MBBS/BDS, B Tech/B Arch and class XI/Diploma in Engineering courses to attract bright candidates from all over the country. But the agitating members said the decision was in direct contravention of the law that clearly states that all examination of the university shall be held at Aligarh itself.

An executive committee member, Justice (retd) S Saghir Ahmed has drawn the attention of the VC to the 2006 Supreme Court order where the University was directed to maintain status quo in all respects as it existed when the petition was filed in Allahabad High Court challenging its minority status.

The matter is pending with the SC. On its part, the AMU has filed a caveat in the Allahabad High Court against the agitating members.

''Perhaps for the first time in the history of any university in the country, it has gone and filed a caveat in court against the members of its own executive council,'' Wasim Ahmed, another executive committee member told UNI here.

AMU's executive council had passed a resolution on January 17 to conduct tests at other centres on the grounds that out of 95,000 candidates who applied to various courses, 83 per cent came from UP and Bihar. ''The resolution was passed hurriedly...we have since then separated ourselves from the decision and want further discussion,'' he added.

AMU VC Prof P K Abdul said in a statement that it was ''disheartening to note that some misleading propaganda is being made by some quarters indicating a VC vs EC situation on this matter. It is a false propaganda and designed to tarnish the image of the university. The administration of AMU carries out decisions taken by the EC. Everyone should contribute to regain the glory of AMU as a great seat of learning.'' The university said the objections raised by some members of the executive council did not carry any force in the light of the Ordinances (Academic) as amended upto 2007, which states that ''All examinations of the university shall be held at Aligarh on such dates as may be fixed by the Academic Council; provided that the Academic Council may, in a special case, on the recommendation of the Committee for Advanced Studies and Research allow the Viva Voce Examination of a candidate for the Doctorate of Philosophy to be held at a centre of higher learning outside Aligarh.'' UNI NAB HS PM1203

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