FOLLOWING THE intervention of BJP MP Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, the Union HRD Ministry has approved Rs 134 crore for Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Kishanganj centre in Bihar. This is the first major funding that the university has received since the Modi government assumed power in 2014.
On December 1, the MP from Bijnor had met HRD Minister Smriti Irani along with a delegation of AMU students who represented the Sir Syed Minority Federation of India.
They had requested Irani that funds be sanctioned for AMU centres and also, a 150-room hostel — in the name of Jat King Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh — be constructed. Soon after, Irani had approved the funds for AMU’s Kishanganj centre.
While Singh is now receiving support from teachers and even alumni of the university, he had faced protests in April from the students, after he was appointed as an AMU Court member. In the past, an FIR was also lodged against him for giving inflammatory speeches in Muzaffarnagar, following which riots had broken out in 2013.
When contacted, Singh said: “Obviously, nobody will want a person named in a riot case. I understand the situation… But you have to take the good things along with bad. I can only say that charges against me are politically motivated.
“I am really thankful that the opportunity to help AMU came my way. It (the university) provides excellent education. I believe that education is the only way to save poor people from falling in the trap of unemployment and criminal, divisive and self-defeating ideology,” he added. He also hoped that Irani would sanction the 150-room hostel to ease lodging problems at the AMU.
“The Kishanganj centre is located in a very poor locality… I appreciate the minister’s prompt action. In future also, I will extend all possible help to AMU,” Singh said. His father Raja Devendra Singh had completed his MBA from the varsity in 1959.
The proposal for the Kishanganj centre was pending with the HRD Ministry for some time now. Due to paucity of funds, the centre has been facing crisis.
When contacted, AMU Finance Officer Javed Akhtar said: “We have received the approval letter from the HRD Ministry regarding funds for the Kishanganj centre. MP Kunwar Bhartendra Singh, along with students, had met the minister in this regard. We are thankful to them.
“We have got a letter which mentions some conditions for allotment of funds. These are small conditions and will be fulfilled. Only one issue of recognition of our BEd course by National Council for Teacher Education is pending, which will be cleared soon,” he added.
Pervez Siddiqui, president of Sir Syed Minority Federation of India, too said Singh was instrumental in ensuring that Irani meets them at a short notice. “We will remain indebted to him… he helped us in presenting our case before the minister. His support also helped in bailing out our institution from financial crisis,” he added.