Press Statements

AMU Teachers on lawlessness on campus, Minority status, Premature panel for VC

Unanimous resolution passed by the Executive Committee of ALIGARH MUSLIM UNIVERSITY TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION (AMUTA) at its meeting held on March 23, 2016 at 12:30 P.M. at the AMU Staff Club

Aligarh (March 24, 2016): Two recent incidents have alarmed the Executive Committee no end as they exemplify the growing feeling of insecurity on the campus, despite the presence and control of distinguished erstwhile members of the services.

One, the most unbearable, tragic and condemnable incident of firing, that resulted in the reportedly total loss of vision with over hundred pellets in the brain of a brilliant M.Tech. student Mr Kaleem Ahmad, who had successfully competed in the Railway Engineering Services in North India and was about to join, is beyond horror. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and whatever help we can, to the victim, his hapless parents, friends and relatives.  The careless approach of the University is demonstrated by no FIR being filed about the casual open use of firearms that resulted in this terrible injury.

The second incident of the attempted abduction of a University student (reportedly a case of mistaken identity) by police within the campus also shows the extremely sorry state of relations between the Civil Administration and the University. The broad daylight murder in Sept. 2015 of another student Alamgir for which we all demanded a CBI enquiry, remains unsolved.

The Executive Committee condemns these and similar incidents and is forced to question all claims of excellence and ranking and development when the lives, liberty, security of the students that is a sine qua non for any academic institution is at stake. We appeal to the Vice-Chancellor and other members of the University Administration to take urgent steps to stem this rot, as this is casting a shadow over the unblemished image of the protectors of our nation’s frontiers and guarantors of its integrity. Lest this be taken as an endorsement of the closing of gates and restriction of movement on the campus, we would clarify that an academic free and open atmosphere is fostered, by actions against antisocial elements and not by targeting dissenting voices. It needs to be emphasized that a demonstrable will to go after lumpen and antisocial elements is more important than proclamations and declamations.

2.         The Executive Committee questions, with all vehemence at its command, the timing of the University Court and Executive Council meetings, in the first week of April, to decide on a panel of names for the future Vice-Chancellor of AMU, that is likely to be vacated fourteen months hence on May 16, 2017.

The AMU Minority Status case is listed before the Apex court for April 4, 2016 whereas; on April 2, 2016 and the weeks before that and till April 7; we shall be engrossed in the names of the prospective Vice-Chancellor. The Executive Committee has very reluctantly arrived at the definite opinion that the present University Administration is more interested in the second case on the eligibility of the present VC before the Supreme Court (tentatively listed on April 8), and is not bothered about the Minority Character case. In fact from the evidence on record it seems that the Minority Status case is being used to camouflage the real intent towards putting up a defense of the other case.

We are also surprised that the Hon’ble members of AMU Executive Council ignored the sane advice of His Excellency Mr. Mohd. Hamid Ansari, the Vice-President and decided to go ahead with a panel of names for the next VC on the premise of autonomy of the University. We would like to stress that autonomy of educational institutions implies autonomy of thought, expression and dissent of even the junior most teacher and the youngest student; it does not stop at the door of the VC and other members of the top administration of the University. We are not expected to exchange the reign of the Government by the reign of the University Administration in the name of autonomy. Autonomy implies freedom within certain defined limits. Therefore, to say that we accepted the pay and perks of the VC, we accepted the age relaxation but did not accept the qualifications is an oxymoron. The Statute 2(1) of the AMU Act does not lay down qualifications of the VC, the UGC Regulation 2010 does, it says s/he has to be a Professor with 10 years experience or equivalent experience in an academic or research organization. It prescribes additional conditions that do not require changes in Statutes, The Hon’ble members of our AMU Executive Council have reportedly (as per comments made by them after the meeting), accepted 10 years experience in academic/research organisation but not as Professor or equivalent. A Professor or equivalent implies at the very least, Grade Pay of Rs.10,000/- for ten years, otherwise all Associate Professors all over the country would be eligible to be VCs, as they have experience of education, academic and research organisation.

It may be noted that the complete/total UGC Regulations were adopted by the Vice Chancellor on behalf of AC/EC/Univ. Court vide O.M. No. (C)1838 dated 6.12.2010 under Section 19(3), consequential actions followed. Approximately one year later, vide O.M. No. (C)/1447 dated 30.11.2011, it was notified that Clause 7.3.0. regarding Vice Chancellor was to be kept in abeyance. We all know that 19(3) actions can only be undone by the Visitor, therefore this notification didn’t mention any rule and legal fiction was sought to be created. Things haven’t changed and the order is still devoid of legal force. The Executive Committee is worried that F.No 61-19/2015-Desk(U) dated Mar 3, 2016 ,a communication from the Government, wasn’t placed before the AMU EC, defying the instructions contained therein, this may have serious implications for decisions taken by the Council.

After a thorough discussion and debate on the above issues and their urgency, the Executive Committee has decided to convene an extended consultative meeting of AMU Teachers’ Association on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. at the Staff Club.

(S. Mustafa Zaidi)
Hony. Secretary
AMUTA

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