Prove Minority Status Or Risk Losing Funding, Scheduled Castes Commission Tells Aligarh Muslim University

Prove Minority Status Or Risk Losing Funding, Scheduled Castes Commission Tells Aligarh Muslim UniversityThe Aligarh Muslim University. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is yet again finding itself in the midst of a storm over not providing reservation to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, the Indian Express has reported.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairperson Ram Shankar Katheria claimed to have given one-month time to the university to furnish proof of its minority status, during a meeting with AMU Pro Vice-Chancellor Tabassum Shahab and a deputy registrar at Circuit House.

“I have given them one-month time to provide documents or legal proof to support their claim of being a minority institution. If they fail to furnish documents and still do not introduce quotas for SC/STs and OBCs, then the commission will send a request to the central government to stop grants to AMU,” said Katheria, who represents Agra in Parliament.

The meeting comes after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath last month raised the demand for quota for Dalits in minority-run institutions like AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi.

AMU does not reserve seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes as all educational institutions supported by the University Grants Commission are expected to. The Allahabad High Court held in 2006 that AMU is not a minority institution.

AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said the university was being governed by the AMU Act, 1981, which granted minority status to it and the minority institutions were exempted from implementing constitutional reservations under Article 15 (5) of the Constitution.