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AMU Maharashtra: Malegaon gives land but Govt. yet to accept the offer

Monday November 22, 2010 10:04:37 AM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: Surprising! Minister of Minority Department Arif Naseem Khan in a press meet on October 27, 2010 directed the District Collectors and Divisional Commissioners of the state to search for suitable land to establish Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) off campus centre in Maharashtra – a flagship project funded by the Central Government aimed at addressing the educational need of the backward regions. The Minister’s press statement is surprising because the information sought from the Prant Office in Malegaon reveal that the SDM Malegaon after consultations with the Nasik Collector has already identified the land for the purpose. Moreover, the details have also been sent to the concerned departments, months before.


According to the office bearers of Noble Education & Welfare Society (NEWS) and Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP), the two NGOs working to get the AMU centre established in Malegaon, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), the world renowned Central University founded in 1920, has decided to establish its National centres in five states - Kerala, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra, and requested the respective state governments to provide suitable land for the purpose. Consequently, the governments in Kerala and West Bengal provided the land and work is now on to commence the academic activities from the next month. However, Maharashtra government could not take any decision in this regard since it doesn’t have the required land in Pune as requested by the AMU.


“When we learnt that the government cannot provide the land in Pune, we approached the government with the idea of getting the coveted AMU centre established in Malegaon. With this idea in mind, we relentlessly followed up with the state as well as the central government.  In fact, the first concrete proposal that reached the Chief Minister’s office immediately after the Ashok Chavan Ministry was formed in 2009 was to urge it to take decision on the matter. Later on, numerous requests – in person and through memoranda, were sent to the concerned offices in Mumbai and Delhi including the office of the Maharashtra Minority Department”, they claim.


The NGOs further claim, it was only after tremendous pressure they brought from New Delhi that the Chief Secretary in June/July 2010 sent the district collector a communiqué asking him to identify the land in Malegaon for the purpose. Consequently, SDM Malegaon Ajay More in his letter dated August 09, 2010 gave details of the available land to the district collector and requested him to proceed for further action.


“With a motive to speed-up the procedure, we ourselves sent all the relevant documents and the copy of the letter stating the availability of the land in Malegaon – which we obtained through a request filed under Right to Information (RTI) Act, to all concerned departments including the PMO. Against this backdrop, it is surprising to note that the Minister, instead of taking the decision in the favour of Malegaon, directs the officials to look for land in the districts which, on one hand, do not have suitable place for the purpose, and on the other already have universities in their jurisdictions”, they add.


When contacted SDM Malegaon Ajay More, he admitted that the government has identified the land for the purpose but declined to elaborate.


With the change in leadership at the state level, the NGOs are now banking on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. It would be interesting to see how and when the Chief Minister, who immediately after taking oath of the office stressed on the need to have quality education in the state, decides on the all-important project which is gathering the dust in Mantralaya since 2008.








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