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‘Controversial MPs inclusion bid to tamper with AMU autonomy’

HRD ministry's list of six members appointed to the AMU court from the Lok Sabha quota includes names of four BJP Lok Sabha members. Two among them are Muzaffarnagar riots' accused Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, an MP from Bijnor, and local MP Satish Kumar Gautam, who had last year created tension in university by pitching for celebrations of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh's birthday on the varsity campus. Reacting sharply to the development, Secretary of AMU Teachers' Association (AMUTA), Aftab Alam said, "We view this move not only as a blatant attempt to intrude into and tamper with AMU's autonomy and its special character, but it is also a move to rub salt on the wounds of the Muslim community by the NDA government."

Alam said, "Under the statute 14 of the AMU Amendment Act 1981, 10 MPs including six Lok Sabha members are elected to the AMU Court from among the members of the Lok Sabha". "In practice, however, the HRD Ministry recommends 10 names to the Speaker who clears them on the basis of consensus and relative strength of different parties in Parliament. Traditionally, all these 10 members are people with academic backgrounds and this list is also supposed to reflect the sensitive ethos of the AMU," he added.

Alam said, they were shocked to know that none of the four BJP MPs have anything to do with education and, in fact, they have a controversial record pertaining their stand on the AMU.

Chairman, Department of Political Science, AMU, Prof. Asmar Beg said, "It is shocking and painful to see the list of MPs nominated by the Ministry of HRD and finally approved by Parliament for membership of the AMU Court, the highest decision making body of the University". "One of these MPs is an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots. This could easily have been avoided. In the past, the Ministry had shown greater concern and sensitivity to the unique character and national importance of the AMU," he said.
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