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Drop 'Hindu', 'Muslim' from university names, Indian panel urges.

Summary: India's University Grants Commission suggests AMU could also be named after its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

Karuna Madan, Correspondent

New Delhi: A University Grants Commission (UGC) panel on Monday recommended that the words 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' should be dropped from the names of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) respectively, as they do not reflect their secular character.

"Centrally funded universities are secular institutions but such words related to religion in their names do not reflect that character. The universities can be simply called Aligarh University and Banaras University," the panel wrote in its audit report to the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry.

The panel suggested that AMU could also be named after its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan.

The panel was formed at the behest of HRD ministry, to probe alleged financial, administrative and academic irregularities in 10 central universities.

Besides BHU and AMU, other universities which were audited by UGC panel included Pondicherry University, Allahabad University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Central University of Jharkhand, Central University of Rajasthan, Central University of Jammu, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, University of Tripura and Hari Singh Gour University.

Meanwhile, the public relations (PR) department of AMU has objected to the UGC recommendations.

"Aligarh Muslim University has always been a secular institution. University Grants Commission should focus on introducing new courses and not on recommending to drop old names, which identify with a university," senior AMU PR department member Mohammad Asim Siddiqui told journalists on Monday.

He said the name 'Aligarh Muslim University' did not mean that the university was not secular.

"We give admission to Hindu students as well. How can anyone think we are not secular just because the name of the University contains the word 'Muslim'," Siddiqui added.

BHU is yet to respond to the recommendations made by the UGC panel.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 9, 2017
Words:324
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