Ram Shankar Katheria, Chairman of National Commission of Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has asked the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to implement reservation policy as there is no document to justify its minority status, Indian Express has reported. In addition to this he has questioned the silence of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and prominent Dalit leader Mayawati on the matter. He added that Mayawati would get full support of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) on the issue if she took the 'movement' forward.
Katheria further added that the Central government, University Grants Commission (UGC) and National Commission of Minorities have confirmed that AMU does not enjoy minority status.
"This is not Pakistan, the university has to follow the rules", he added. Further, the chairman of NCSC, who is also the current BJP MP from Agra informed that 4500 students from SC and ST community will have to be admitted if the university does not produce any document within a month.
He added that AMU's refusal to give reservation had denied the opportunity to more than five lakh students since 1951 when it was made a national university.
The AMU on the other had said that the validity of 1981 amendment brought in by the parliament to grant it minority status is still being heard by the Supreme Court (SC). Therefore the 1981 amendment, though struck down by Allahabad High Court stands valid according to AMU. This amendment has been cited by AMU to claim minority status and deny reservations to scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST).
"The amendment was overturned by the Allahabad High Court but the Supreme Court in 2005 stayed the High Court order and therefore the Act is still in force. Since the AMU hasn’t reserved a single seat for Muslims, there is no question of making any reservation for any community. In November 2017, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes itself passed an order that the matter is sub-judice", AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor told Indian Express.
The controversy over AMU's minority status was revived after Uttar Pradesh SC/ST commission sent a notice to the university asking the reason for not providing reservations to SC/ST students despite getting Central government grants as a national university. The Central government had approached the SC and declared that AMU is not a minority institution in 2016. The matter is still pending before the court.
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