Azam sees Cong hand in Guv delaying his univ

Minorities Affair Minister Azam Khan has criticised the Raj Bhawan for delaying a bill meant to accord minority status to his dream project Mohammad Ali Jauhar University under the influence of the Congress.

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published:July 21, 2012 1:59 am

Minorities Affair Minister Azam Khan has criticised the Raj Bhawan for delaying a bill meant to accord minority status to his dream project — Mohammad Ali Jauhar University — under the influence of the Congress. The private university has come up at the Minister’s hometown,Rampur.

“The Congress does not want that a minority institution should be developed. It has stalled the bill for giving minority status to the university,” he said.

Khan,who was contacted in Varanasi over the phone,claimed that the Raj Bhawan had informed him that a minority university could not be established by an act of the assembly. ”But it is not true,several such universities have been established,” he said and cited Integral University in Lucknow,Teerthankar Mahaveer University in Moradabad and Mangalyatan University in Aligarh as examples.

Khan appealed to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to advise Raj Bhawan to show some consideration. “Thodi kripa mere par bhi ho jaye,” he said.

Raj Bhawan,however,did not respond to Khan’s allegation.

Principal Secretary to the Governor,G B Patnaik,said,“I can only inform you that the amendment bill has been pending since 2007. I have no information about its legality.”

The bill,titled Mohammad Ali Jauhar University Amendment Bill,was passed by the previous Samajwadi Party government headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav. Neither previous Governor T V Rajeshwar,nor incumbent B L Joshi gave consent for reasons that remain unknown.

Besides minority status,the bill provides that only Muslims can be appointed as the university’s vice-chancellor,pro vice-chancellor and in other key positions. It changes the existing provision whereby the state government can appoint an inquiry officer to look into any complaint and provide for an inquiry only by a retired judge. The most significant proposal is that any move to derecognise the university will require an approval by three-fourth majority of both Houses of the legislature.

The delay has upset Khan’s plan. Earlier,it was planned that Jauhar University will be thrown open on July 18,with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav attending the ceremony. However,the programme will now be held after Eid,which falls on August 20.

The project has been caught in controversy right from the beginning. The Assembly first passed a bill,Uttar Pradesh Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar (UPMMAJ) University Bill,2004,to set up the university. However,then Governor T V Rajeshwar objected to a provision,which said that Khan,who is president of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Charitable Trust,will be pro-chancellor of the university for life.

After much controversy,the government withdrew the bill. On March 18,2005,a new bill to set up a private university was passed,and the Governor gave his assent. In this bill,Khan is not pro-chancellor for life,but it says that the president of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust,who is none other than Khan,would be chancellor of the university and that the V-C would be appointed by the chancellor with the concurrence of the trust.

The amendment bill,which is pending with the Raj Bhawan,was passed on May 9,2007,when no Opposition was present in the House and elections had been announced. The bill was sent to the Raj Bhawan. After the BSP government assumed office,it did not pursue the bill.

Finally,Khan started the Jauhar Institute of Engineering and Technology and affiliated it to the UP Technical University.

The university is being set up on an area of 300 acres and Khan claims he has raised the university with his own means.

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