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Published in the 16-29 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Hamdard wins minority status

New Delhi: Finally, 20 years after its emergence, Delhi’s Jamia Hamdard has won official recognition as a “minority institution”. Earlier in 1989 Jamia Hamdard had won “deemed university” status. Jamia is Delhi’s only university which has been accredited “A” grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. Jamia attracts students from all over India as well as from 19 foreign countries.

Siraj Husain

Siraj Husain

Jamia Hamdard’s recognition as a “minority institution” came in the form of a letter issued on 3 February by the Ministry of Human Resources Development to Hamdard Vice Chancellor Siraj Husain which said, “Since Jamia Hamdard (Deemed to be University) is a Religious Minority Institution established and administered under Article 30(1) of the Constitution of India, it is allowed to reserve 50% of the seats for admission of Muslim minority candidates in all the programmes of study. For these reserved seats, Jamia Hamdard may adopt a procedure that it may deem fit for merit-based admissions. For the 50% open seats, admission will be done by the university on the basis of the merit in the All India Common Entrance Test(s) conducted by the UGC or an agency approved by it for specified professional programmes and allotment of seats to the candidates through the central counseling procedure. In the case of admissions to Engineering, Architecture and Pharmacy programmes at the undergraduate level admissions to 50% open seats will be done through AIEEE and allotment of candidates by Central Counseling Board. In the case of MCA Courses, admissions will be done by using score of AIMCET. In the case of MBA courses admissions will be done by using score of one of the five national entrance tests, namely – CAT (conducted by IIMs), JMET (conducted by IITs), MAT (conducted by AIMA), ATMA (conducted by AIMS) and XAT (conducted by XLRI).”

In other words, Jamia Hamdard is now free to offer 50 percent of its seats to Muslim students and the rest will have to be filled from those who passed UGC-approved tests for admission to various courses. Jamia Hamdard is also free to adopt its own procedures for admission of Muslim students to the reserved seats. 

The issue of the participation of Jamia Hamdard in the common entrance tests has been under discussion for several months and Jamia Hamdard was threatened that it may lose the government grant should it refuse to follow UGC instructions. The UGC had issued regulations on December 17, 2003, by which all central and deemed universities had been asked to admit students to specific professional courses through common entrance tests conducted by an agency prescribed by the government. 

According to its VC, Jamia Hamdard has been following this policy for several years and has been attracting high quality students both in open as well as reserved categories from all over the country.

He further said that Muslim students have been performing exceedingly well in NET, GATE and other competitive examinations, primarily on account of the fact that they are selected on an all-India basis through an open competitive examination, without any reservation for internal candidates. A good number of Muslim students have also been selected for doctoral research in reputed institutions like AIIMS, IIT, ICGEB, Center for DNA Fingerprinting, Indian Institute of Science etc. All this has been possible primarily because of an admission policy which enables bright Muslims to be admitted to Jamia Hamdard, irrespective of their geographical location or domicile or the school or college from where they passed their qualifying examination. 

Siraj Husain added that ‘We recognise that an educationally backward community cannot compete in an 'open' competition and therefore preferential admissions are an acceptable way of bringing them at par with those sections of society which have experienced the fruits of education for several generations. Reservations were upheld as a policy by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in a number of landmark judgements following which 50% seats are reserved for SCs/ STs/ OBCs even in IAS, IPS and IFS,” he said adding that “We would do well to accept reservation as a policy to help the weaker sections of society. At the same time, we should do everything in our power to bring excellence to our schools, colleges and universities so that their products can shine wherever they are.”

It is a matter of satisfaction for the Muslim community that Jamia Hamdard is progressing fast under the current administration after a period of rot and devastating internal politics during the previous administration. 

- Zafarul-Islam Khan

See also
Jamia Hamdard convocation

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