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'AMU National Centres aimed at providing dignified existence to minorities'

Sunday, May 30, 2010 08:48:34 PM, Special Correspondent

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New Delhi: Unfolding an elaborate action plan, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Prof. P. K. Abdul Azis said that Murshidabad and Malappuram Special Centres of AMU will become functional with MBA and BALLB academic programmes from the next academic session. The University is preparing a holistic plan and submitting a detailed project report to the MHRD for allocation of funds.

While briefing the proceedings of the National Consultation on Vision and Mission for the Special Centres of AMU held at India International Centre today, Prof. Azis said that setting up of five Centres across the nation will transform the fate of excluded minority from development deficit to a life of dignified existence.

Prof. Azis said that the Concept Plan presented by AMU Alumni Advisory Committee was adopted in principle and it was decided to form a Coordination Committee to regularly monitor the development and progress of the Special Centres at Murshidabad, Malappuram and Kishanganj so that the building of a massive academic and research infra structure is completed at the target time line.

The Concept Plan includes both the short and long-term strategies with emphasis on state-of-the-art digital ambience and management.
The Concept Plan has suggested appointment of a Consultant to look after the developmental work and coordinate with all the stakeholders. It also suggested appointment of a Coordinator at each AMU Centre to expedite the land acquisition process and to look after the dedicated development initiatives.

The Plan also provided fruitful interaction with alumni and other stakeholders at all stages of development of these centres.

Prof. Azis pointed out that keeping in view the suggestion of Sachar and Fatmi Committees, the school education also received its due attention in the overall scheme of the Special Centres. High priority would be given to women’s education and a sub-committee of experts and activists to promote women’s education would be constituted, he added.

Tracing the genesis of the special centres, Prof. P. K. Abdul Azis said that AMU had received representations from the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Chief Secretary of Government of Kerala and Bhopal based Gharib Nawaz Foundation for Education of Muslims suggesting to establish Regional Study Centre of Aligarh Muslim University in their respective regions. The backdrop of the alarming revelations of the shocking state of educational backwardness of minority community by Sachar Committee was another factor that paved way for the decision.

Explaining in detail, Prof. Azis said that West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and the Central Government’s willing support in promoting education among Muslim community and to bring them into the national mainstream by expanding the benefit of education to Muslims also provided focus on the issue and helped us formulate the policy to widen the AMU’s campus network by establishing five Special Centres. The proposal is a powerful projection of an ambitious plan in the direction of academic and research programmes to be initiated by AMU to meet the challenging needs of the marginalized and excluded social classes, he added.

He clarified that the idea behind setting up special Centres is to provide easy access to modern education to the most educationally deprived social class so that the national goal of equity, access and inclusion of the excluded is accomplished. It is indeed a national duty bestowed upon AMU to promote education among the Muslims.

The Vice Chancellor said that the University has a glorious tradition of tolerance and enlightened positivity and successfully kept at bay all kinds of communal, narrow, parochial and fissiparous forces. The University has never allowed any unlawful engagement in its sprawling campus. It has a record of maintaining discipline of highest order and the envisaged five Centres will not be an exception as far as propriety and quality education is concerned.

The most encouraging dimension Prof. Azis felt was that the University was receiving extremely positive responses from all stakeholders. The Central Government, the MHRD and the UGC have already given clearance for establishing the five centres. The Government of West Bengal has identified 302 acres of Farakka Barrage land and recommended its transfer to Aligarh Muslim University. The Government of Kerala is acquiring about 392 acres of land on fast track basis in the Malappuram district. It has already handed over 122 acres of land to the University at a public function held at Perinthalmanna on March 6, 2010.

Prof. Azis said that the Government of Bihar has also approved 250 acres of land located in Kishanganj district for AMU Centre. The AMU team under the stewardship of the Vice Chancellor visited the Kishanganj’s proposed site recently and received an overwhelming response from elites as well as common citizens alike. They are considering the initiative as a major event in the direction of social transformation in the region and urged the Vice Chancellor to establish the AMU Special Centre at any cost, he pointed out.

He said that the Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has already allocated Rs. 25 Crore for Murshidabad and Malappuram centres each and the MHRD has released Rs. 35 Crores to AMU for land development and to meet basic requirements. The deck was cleared for starting two Special Centres of AMU in Murshidabad and Malappuram on May 5, 2010 when the university has received the approval of President of India in the capacity of Visitor for establishing the two centres under Section 12(2) of the University Act, he added.

Prof. P. K. Abdul Azis further said that in order to develop an extremely efficient Concept Plan of global dimension he constituted an Advisory Committee of distinguished AMU Alumni from USA, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India. The 13-member committee was assigned the responsibility to initiate consultation with AMU alumni spread across the world and gather innovative ideas for creating the World Class Special Centres of excellence.

He said that it was to translate the vision of creating five sustainable Special Centres of excellence equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that the University conceived the idea of ‘National Consultation’. About 100 distinguished personalities connected with the realm of education and have made notable and meaningful contribution in the sphere of education were invited for the brain storming session in the national consultation meet organized by Aligarh Muslim University today at India International Centre.

The distinguished parliamentarians, vice chancellors, educationists and intellectuals participated in the historic interactive meet and presented their opinion and ideas on making the special centres a true educational hub of academic significance.





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