The review meeting called by the Maharashtra Minority Department
to decide on the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
off campus centre in the state January 24 ended without taking any
concrete decision. The department has delayed the decision on this
important project till its further meeting to be held after a
"Today's meeting was called to
assess the options available in hand to establish Aligarh Muslim
University (AMU) off campus centre in Maharashtra. It was called
taking into account the decision taken in the meeting held in
October 2010", Minority Department Minister Arif Nasim Khan said
while speaking to ummid.com on phone from his Mumbai office.
"During the meeting it came to our
notice that the size of the land, which Aligarh Muslim University
(AMU) is requesting for the purpose, is not available in the areas
we are looking for. However, the local district administration in
identified a land admeasuring 240 acres near the town", he said.
Maharashtra Minority Department in
its meeting held on October 27, 2010 had directed the district
collectors of the state to look for the land for the purpose. The
Minister in the meeting had also directed them to report to the
department within one month. However, except the additional
collector of Malegaon - the Muslim dominated textile town in North
Maharashtra, no other officer turned up with the land details.
In reply to a question, why then the
state government is not deciding on the land as proposed by
Malegaon, Arif Nasim Khan said, "Today's meeting was just a review
meeting to assess the available options and discuss on the areas
where the centre could be established."
"We have once again suggested the district
collectors present in the meeting to look for the land in some
other areas like Konkan, Aurangabad and Naded", he said.
"At the same time," he added, "The
proposal, which we have received from Malegaon has also been
forwarded to the revenue department and we will be taking a
decision in this regard in the next meeting."
The minister has also directed the
department of higher and technical education to send a communiqué
to the AMU VC informing him of the latest development in
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), in
what the university officials term as a historic decision taken in
its court meeting held in 2008, had decided to establish five
off-campus centres in Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh
and Maharashtra. While the work for the establishment of the
centre is on in Kerala and West Bengal, the governments in
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have not taken any decision
Meanwhile, office bearers of Noble
Education & Welfare Society (NEWS) and Citizens for Development &
Peace (CDP), the two NGOs fighting for the establishment of AMU
Off Campus Centre in Malegaon are of the view that because of the
political considerations the state government is delaying the
decision on the matter.
"The land proposal from Malegaon was
with the state department when it called a meeting on October 27,
2010. Even then the concerned minister directed the district
collectors to look for the land in other areas and did not mention
the name of Malegaon", they said to ummid.com.
"Today, at least, he admitted that
the land proposal has come from Malegaon and it has been forwarded
to revenue department for further consideration", they observed.
"Yet", they said, "It is surprising
to note why the minister is emphasizing so much on the areas that
already have universities and establishing the AMU centre in such
areas would kill the very purpose behind the whole idea."
"We demand from the state government
to give its nod for the establishment of AMU off campus centre in
Malegaon without further delay", they said.