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Sibal, Khurshid differ over minority status to Jamia Milia Islamia

Saturday, May 29, 2010 08:46:39 PM, PTI

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New Delhi: The Ministries of minority affairs and HRD are at loggerheads over the issue of granting minority status to Jamia Milia Islamia.

Minority affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal have taken opposite stands on the issue, official sources said.

While Khurshid has supported grant of minority status to the 90-year-old university, Sibal has not endorsed such a view and asked for more facts from the former to justify the need for altering the present status of the institution.

The matter of grant of minority status to Jamia is at present pending with the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution (NCMEI).

A similar petition challenging the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is pending in the Supreme Court. The NCMEI is not able to take a decision since the AMU judgement will have a bearing in Jamia case.

Pending the matter in the court, Khurshid had written a letter to Sibal in February, seeking his support for taking initiative for early listing of the matter in the Supreme Court.

Khurshid had said that Muslims are eagerly waiting a favourable decision for minority status. Khurshid has written that both the universities by history are minority institutions "de facto" and can be given "de jure" minority status, sources said.

Sibal has written back to Khurshid, saying that it may not be appropriate to conclude that stand of the HRD Ministry needs any alteration.

Sibal asked Khurshid to provide data and historical facts to justify why present status of the university needs any change, sources said.

Every institution has a unique history and its character must be culled from the context it was set up, Sibal has written. Sibal has provided a detailed account on the historical genesis and character of Jamia.






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