Aligarh Muslim University, which found itself embroiled in a controversy recently, is set to receive a rap from the National Commission for Scheduled Caste over the non-implementation of the reservation policy. “This isn’t Pakistan,” the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Chairperson Ramshankar Katheria said, adding that “university has to follow the rules”.
Katheria, a BJP MP, further claimed that during a meeting with the AMU authorities on July 3, the Registrar and the Vice-Chancellor failed to show a single document to prove the minority status of the university. “We have given them a month’s time to submit the documents. But it’s clear that they do not have them,” the former Union Minister said.
Katheria has asserted that the HRD Ministry, UGC and the National Commission for Minorities have confirmed that the AMU does not enjoy minority status. In 2016, the central government approached the Supreme Court, stating the AMU is not a minority institution, and the matter is pending.
“By the end of August, the full committee (of the SC/ST panel) will meet and issue an order asking the university to provide the quota as required by all central universities. The university has around 30,000 students and 15 per cent of these seats should have gone to SC students and 7.5 per cent to STs. If AMU fails to provide the documents, it will have to admit 4,500 Dalit students and 2,250 tribal students,” he said.
Emphasizing that the AMU does not “qualify” to be a minority institution under Article 30 (1), he said, “The university has been upheld by the Supreme Court ruling of 1968. The institute was granted the National University status by a Parliament Act in 1951.”
“In 1981, the then Congress government brought in an amendment to grant minority status but the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision in 2005,” Katheria said.
Earlier this month, Katheria had claimed that the Commission had written to the varsity asking why it was not fulfilling its constitutional obligations by providing reservations to the weaker sections. “If the varsity authorities fail to provide the Commission a suitable answer to the written query asking it to prove that AMU is a minority institution, within a month of receiving the commission’s missive, the NCSC would direct the UGC to stop all funding of AMU for not fulfilling its constitutional obligations,” Katheria was quoted as saying by PTI.