In a meeting that lasted close to 20 minutes, Shah was learnt to have expressed concerns over the ministry allegedly withholding funds, to which Irani pointed that almost Rs 90 crore was lying unused with the university. 

AMU, aligarh muslim university, smriti irani, HRD minister, AMU VC meets smriti irani, minority status to AMU, uttar pradesh news

ALIGARH MUSLIM University (AMU) vice-chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah met HRD Minister Smriti Irani Thursday to discuss the Centre’s attempt to withdraw the institution’s minority status and “inadequate funding” for its three off-campus centres.

In a meeting that lasted close to 20 minutes, Shah was learnt to have expressed concerns over the ministry allegedly withholding funds, to which Irani pointed that almost Rs 90 crore was lying unused with the university. AMU was allocated Rs 546 crore under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) of which the government has released Rs 302 crore to date.

Sources said Irani also told Shah that one of AMU’s three off-campus centres was currently offering a BEd course without the approval of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). The V-C replied that the university had recently applied for approval.

When Shah raised the issue of AMU’s minority status, the minister is learnt to have retorted that the matter was subjudice, adding that the Centre changed its stand in court only after extensive research. The Narendra Modi government had recently retracted in court the previous UPA government’s stand supporting the AMU’s minority status.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Shah said he was “satisfied” with his interaction with the minister and was “hopeful of a solution soon.”

Thursday’s meeting, which was also attended by AMU’s Registrar, Pro Vice-Chancellor, BJP MPs from Aligarh and Bijnor — Satish Gautam and Bhartendra Singh, respectively — was only the second meeting the V-C has had with Irani ever since she took over as the HRD Minister in 2014.

AMU sources said Shah had been seeking an appointment with her for almost a year and heard back from the minister’s office only after he met PM Narendra Modi last week. (indianexpress)


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