Maha govt still undecided on AMU centre

Malegaon: The review meeting on January 24, called by the Maharashtra Minority Department to decide the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) off campus in the state, ended without taking any concrete decision. The department has postponed the decision on this important project till the next meeting to be held after a month.

“Today’s meeting was called to assess the options available in hand to establish Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) off campus centre in Maharashtra. It was called taking into account the decision taken in the meeting held in October 2010”, Minority Department Minister Arif Nasim Khan told ummid. com. “During the meeting it came to our notice that the size of the land, which Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is requesting for the purpose, is not available in the areas we are looking for. However, the local district administration in Malegaon has identified a land admeasuring 240 acres near the town”, he said.

Maharashtra Minority Department in its meeting held on October 27, 2010 had directed the district collectors of the state to look for the land for the purpose. The Minister in the meeting had also directed them to report to the department within one month. However, except the additional collector of Malegaon - the Muslim dominated textile town in North Maharashtra, no other officer turned up with the land details.

In reply to a question, why then the state government is not deciding on the land as proposed by Malegaon, Arif Nasim Khan said, “Today’s meeting was just a review meeting to assess the available options and discuss the areas where the centre could be established. We have once again suggested the district collectors present in the meeting to look for the land in some other areas like Konkan, Aurangabad and Naded”, he said.

“At the same time,” he added, “The proposal, which we have received from Malegaon has also been forwarded to the revenue department and we will be taking a decision in this regard in the next meeting.”

The minister has also directed the department of higher and technical education to send a communiqué to the AMU VC informing him of the latest development in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, office bearers of Noble Education & Welfare Society (NEWS) and Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP), the two NGOs fighting for the establishment of AMU Off Campus Centre in Malegaon, are of the view that because of the political considerations the state government is delaying the decision in the matter.

“The land proposal from Malegaon was with the state department when it called a meeting on October 27, 2010. Even then the concerned minister directed the district collectors to look for the land in other areas and did not mention the name of Malegaon”, they said to ummid. com.

“Today, at least, he admitted that the land proposal has come from Malegaon and it has been forwarded to revenue department for further consideration”, they observed.

“Yet”, they said, “It is surprising to note why the minister is emphasizing so much on the areas that already have universities and establishing the AMU centre in such areas would kill the very purpose behind the whole idea.”
“We demand from the state government to give its nod for the establishment of AMU off campus centre in Malegaon without further delay”, they said. (

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 9

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