Change Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University names, says UGC panel; Centre says no

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Updated: October 9, 2017 8:12:38 PM

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the government has no intention to change the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

Prakash Javadekar, Prakash Javadekar on BHU name change, BHU name change, AMU name change, UGC panel, Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Javadekar on universities, Congress, Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, BJPA UGC panel has recommended that words such as ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ be dropped from BHU and AMU respectively. (Image: PTI)

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today said the government has no intention to change the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU). A UGC panel has recommended that words such as ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ be dropped from the Banaras Hindu University and the Aligarh Muslim University respectively as they not reflect their secular character. “AMU and BHU are very old institutions, and we do not intend to change their names. We formed a committee to look into the administrative, academic and research audits of universities.

“The committee studied various aspects and I have not seen what they have said, but there is neither such decision nor is there any such intention to change the names (of these universities),” the HRD minister told reporters here over the reports on the panel’s recommendation. The committee was formed to probe the alleged irregularities in 10 central universities and the recommendations have been made in the audit report of AMU.

Javadekar said that while he is yet to look into the audit reports, the government will take cognisance of any such suggestion. “The mandate of the committee is to look into the administrative, academic and research audits of universities. We will not take cognisance of what they have recommended outside of this,” he said.

According to the panel, the universities can be simply called Aligarh University and Banaras University or be renamed after their founders. Besides AMU and BHU, other universities that were audited by the panel included Allahabad University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Central University of Jharkhand, Central University of Rajasthan, Central University of Jammu, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, University of Tripura and Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh.

On the Congress seeking probe into allegations that a company owned by BJP chief Amit Shah’s son saw a huge rise in its turnover after his party came to power in 2014, Javadekar said the opposition’s demand was “laughable”.

“They (Jay Amit Shah) are themselves going to the court, and will give all information to the court, so Congress’ demand is laughable. Incurring losses in a business is not corruption,” he said. Javadekar said a committee headed by K Kasturirangan for new education policy is likely to submit its report by December.

The minister also participated in the BJP’s Gujarat Gaurav Yatra and exuded confidence that the party will again form the government in the state. “The issue of development that the BJP took up, is getting strong support from people. People are for development and for development they are with the BJP. Congress is agitated because it has been rejected for 22 years in Gujarat,” he said.

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