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AMU off-campus centre in Maharashtra gets a new lease on life

Thursday, December 03, 2009 11:49:05 AM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: With the new government in place after recently held assembly elections in Maharashtra, the land allocation process to establish the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) facilitated off-campus centre in the state can have a new lease on life. The government, however, instead of Pune as demanded by the AMU is considering to allot the land at some other place in the state.


"The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) proposal to establish its off-campus centre in Maharashtra was in my mind ever since I took the charge of the ministry. I am consulting the proposal with top government leaderships and officials to push the land allocation - primary requirement of the proposal", Minister of State for Minority Development Mrs. Fauzia Khan said to


Mrs. Fauzia Khan's disclosure came during an exclusive interview with at her Mantralay office in Mumbai.


"The AMU proposal and its motive is important not only for the minorities but also for everyone in the state. The problem however is that getting land in Pune as proposed by the AMU is difficult. Hence consultations are on to get land at some other place in Maharashtra", she said.


In a landmark decision taken in December 2007, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) decided to establish its off-campus centers at five places in five different states. The places proposed by the AMU are Pune in Maharashtra, Malappuram in Kerala, Katihar in Bihar, Murshidabad in West Bengal and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.


Though land allocation process was swiftly completed in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar, the proposal was gathering the dust in Maharashtra. In fact, a leading English daily in July 2008 had quoted a government official saying, no such proposal was received by the state.


However, while speaking to few days ago Johny Joseph, who retired as the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra on November 30, 2009, admitted receiving the proposal from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He had also invited the AMU authorities to come and locate the land for its off-campus centre in Maharashtra.


With Mrs. Fauzia Khan's assertion to speed up the land allocation process, the much publicised AMU facilitated off-campus in Maharashtra is expected to see the light of the day in near future.


Meanwhile, Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP) delegation comprising Aleem Faizee, Khursheed Ansari and Maulana Ayyub Qasmi that met Mrs. Fauzia Khan in Mumbai proposed to allot the land in Malegaon.


"If it is not possible for the Government to allot the land for AMU off-campus centre at Pune as suggested by Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) or elsewhere in the state, Malegaon – one of the minority concentrated and Muslim dominated towns listed in the Prime Minister’s 15-point program for development of the minorities - could be chosen as the place for this important project", CDP proposed to the government.


The reasons for suggesting Malegaon for establishment of the AMU off-campus centre are, the CDP says, 250-300 acres of land as needed by the University is easily available; the town has access to adequate drinking water with healthy ambience suitable for education, and it is located along the Mumbai-Agra road and very close to the Manmad Railway Junction.


"Moreover", the CDP says, "Malegaon is at equal distance from the metros like Mumbai, Surat, Pune and Indore, and also from Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nashik and Ahmednagar, surely making the AMU off-campus center if established best suitable for majority of people in and around the state."







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