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'Establishing AMU centers in various states a right step'

Friday, January 08, 2010 07:29:41 PM, Team

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Former Pro. Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Consultant International Central Theoretical Physics, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Prof. Abul Hasan Siddiqi was recently in Oman. In an exclusively interview with Jawaid Badauni, an Aligarian of 1965-69 who is currently in Oman and who also moderates AligarhNetwork tracking the day-to-day activities at AMU and other Muslim issues,  Prof. Siddiqi spoke on various issues relating to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Besides sharing his views on various issues, the former PVC appreciated the establishment of AMU off-campus centers in various states of the country.


Q: What are the powers and responsibilities of a PVC and do you think a university like AMU must always have someone as its Pro. Vice-Chancellor?  

Prof. Siddiqi: There are hardly any powers assigned directly to PVC by the constitution. A PVC gets such powers from his Vice-Chancellor. Normally, Pro Vice Chancellor is delegated the powers to look after schools or some faculties and to handle matters like leave of teachers, staff members etc. Of course, AMU must have Pro. Vice-Chancellor. I feel a university like AMU should have three Pro. Vice chancellors instead of one, each one of them to look after academic, financial and administrative matters. This will relieve Vice-Chancellor from the burden of work and will spare his time to concentrate on major issues.


Q: During your tenure as PVC, were there any instances of a difference of opinion between you and your Vic-Chancellor? How did you sort out such matters where your opinion was different from that of the VC?  

Prof. Siddiqi: Of course, on many occasions it happened to be so. The ultimate decision was to be taken by VC. I remember on one occasion, the Vice chancellor wanted  his controller of exams to become a member of Executive Committee. I opposed the idea but the VC did not heed to me. The lady was appointed a member of EC and the entire EC objected to this decision. Many a times and oft, I had a different opinion and used to stick to my view. I remember I had once suggested my VC to examine the records of those considered to be appointed as Provosts of various halls of residence.  


Q: Sir! Do you feel the present system of appointing a  Vice Chancellor in AMU is absolutely perfect or you suggest some changes in the present procedure of appointing VC?  

Prof. Siddiqi: I strongly feel that the existing system of appointing VC needs lot of modification.  


Q: Would you like to make any general comment on some recent Vice-Chancellors of AMU?  

Prof. Siddiqi: Vice Chancellors of the yesteryears used to respect senior members in all faculties. Unfortunately, the trend has changed now as VCs in the recent past were not least interested in interacting with the senior faculty members.  


Q: Prof. Siddiqi! Are you fully satisfied with the present academic standard of AMU?  

Prof. Siddiqi: of course, I am not. There is a need to identify those who are really competent and keen enough to complete their research work. There should be a research center and a post of a common Dean be created for post graduate studies and research. Going down the memory lane, we shall find some of the Pro. Vice Chancellors in AMU were exactly doing this type of job to act like a Dean of research. Remember, a University is always recognized on the strength of quality of research and published work.  


Q: Do you appreciate the idea of AMU establishing  campus in various parts of the country?  

Prof. Siddiqi: Yes, of course. In fact we had started working on establishing as many as a dozen such campuses. For, only one AMU was never sufficient to fulfill the needs of the Muslim Community which is backward throughout the country.  


Q: Any comment on students-Administration relations in AMU and the ever increasing interference of district police in AMU campus?  

Prof. Siddiqi: Of course, there should be a good understanding and amicable relations between the students and authorities. I am against police interference in AMU matters. However, in such circumstance when there is an emergency and some sort of crises are to be controlled, the police action cannot be ruled out.  


Q: What are your views about restoring Students Union in AMU?  

Prof. Siddiqi: There should be a proper students Union to make representation of students and to follow with authorities about the grievances of common students.    


Q: Can Wardens and Provosts of the halls of residence play an important role in improving the over all atmosphere in AMU and are they really justifying their choice in the recent days?  

Prof. Siddiqi: Of course their role is important. Unfortunately, most of the present Wardens or Provosts are not truly interest in their job. These are not highly paid positions but they simply accept them to avail a certain facilities attached with these position.











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