With the new government in place after recently held assembly
elections in Maharashtra, the
land allocation process to establish the Aligarh Muslim University
(AMU) facilitated off-campus centre in the state can have a new
lease on life. The government, however, instead of Pune as demanded by
the AMU is considering to allot the land at some other place in the
"The Aligarh Muslim
University (AMU) proposal to establish its off-campus centre in
Maharashtra was in my mind ever since I took the charge of the
ministry. I am consulting the proposal with top government
leaderships and officials to push the land allocation - primary
requirement of the proposal", Minister of State for Minority
Development Mrs. Fauzia Khan said to ummid.com.
Mrs. Fauzia Khan's
disclosure came during
an exclusive interview with ummid.com at her Mantralay office in Mumbai.
"The AMU proposal and its
motive is important not only for the minorities but also for
everyone in the state. The problem however is that getting land in
Pune as proposed by the AMU is difficult. Hence consultations are on
to get land at some other place in Maharashtra", she said.
In a landmark decision
taken in December 2007, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) decided to
establish its off-campus centers at five places in five different
states. The places proposed by the AMU are Pune in Maharashtra,
Malappuram in Kerala, Katihar in Bihar, Murshidabad in West Bengal
and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
Though land allocation
process was swiftly completed in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar, the
proposal was gathering the dust in Maharashtra. In fact, a leading
English daily in July 2008 had quoted a government official saying,
no such proposal was received by the state.
while speaking to
ummid.com few days ago Johny Joseph, who retired as the Chief Secretary
of Maharashtra on November 30, 2009, admitted receiving the
proposal from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He had also
invited the AMU authorities to come and locate the land for its
off-campus centre in Maharashtra.
With Mrs. Fauzia Khan's
assertion to speed up the land allocation
process, the much publicised AMU
facilitated off-campus in Maharashtra is expected to see the
light of the day in near future.
Meanwhile, Citizens for
Development & Peace (CDP) delegation comprising Aleem Faizee,
Khursheed Ansari and Maulana Ayyub Qasmi that met Mrs. Fauzia Khan
in Mumbai proposed to allot the land in Malegaon.
"If it is not possible for the
Government to allot the land for AMU off-campus centre at Pune as
suggested by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) or elsewhere in the
state, Malegaon – one of the minority concentrated and Muslim
dominated towns listed in the Prime Minister’s 15-point program for
development of the minorities - could be chosen as the place for
this important project", CDP proposed to the government.
The reasons for suggesting Malegaon
for establishment of the AMU off-campus centre are, the CDP says,
250-300 acres of land as needed by the University is easily
available; the town has access to adequate drinking water with
healthy ambience suitable for education, and it is located along the
Mumbai-Agra road and very close to the Manmad Railway Junction.
"Moreover", the CDP says, "Malegaon is
at equal distance from the metros like Mumbai, Surat, Pune and
Indore, and also from Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nashik and Ahmednagar,
surely making the AMU off-campus center if established best suitable
for majority of people in and around the state."