The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Monday termed the University Grants Commission’s idea to drop Muslim from its name as “preposterous” asserting that the proposition ignores the University’s history and unique character.“The name of the university gives us an idea about its history, purpose and character and preserving the same is our bounden Constitutional duty,” AMU Registrar Javaid Akhter was quoted by as saying.

In October, last year, the UGC had recommended that the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ be dropped from the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), respectively, to reflect their secular character.

A UGC panel member had contended that Centrally funded universities are secular institutions but such words related to religion do not reflect that character while proposing the idea.

After the UGC’s proposal, the BJP led NDA government underwent a baptism of fire forcing the Union Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar to issue a statement saying that the government has no intention to change the name of universities.

“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,” Javadekar had said.

The entire controversy was sparked in October last year when the government formed a panel to probe the alleged irregularities in 10 central universities and the recommendation to change the name was made in the audit report.

In its audit of AMU, the committee suggested that the institution should either be called just ‘Aligarh University’ or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. It cited the same reason to recommend that BHU’s name be amended, too.

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