The Aligarh Muslim University Court, the supreme governing body of the university, will have a tough task at their hands when they meet on April 11 to finalise a name for Chancellor with five high-profile names including those of a sitting chief minister of a state, former bureaucrats, a religious head and a former judge in the reckoning for the ceremonial post that has been lying vacant for more than five years.
The Court will also appoint a pro-chancellor and treasurer of the institution. The post of Chancellor is lying vacant since February 2010 after the term of former Justice A M Ahmadi expired. Fresh elections are likely to be held on April 11 during the meeting of AMU Court.
There are 182 members in AMU Court but with some seats lying vacant, the actual strength is 145. The Chancellor presides over AMU Court meetings and annual convocation. Though an honorary post, the person holding it is provided a lodge on AMU campus and gets high regard in the Muslim fraternity.
Former IAS officer Mehmoodur Rehman has shown inclination for the post. Presently, chairman of Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank, Rehman had earlier held the post of AMU V-C between 1995-2000. During a recent visit to Aligarh, Rehman had held discussions with several Court members, faculty and other leaders associated with AMU.
Meanwhile, sources claimed, AMU administration is also supporting the candidature of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, the religious head of Dawoodi Bohra community. Some faculty members claimed that Syedna has also given his consent for accepting the post and his name is likely to be placed before in the Court meeting.
Another name in the reckoning is that of former IFS officer Salman Haider, who had also served as foreign secretary and ambassador in China. Name of Justice M S A Siddiqui who heads the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions is also doing rounds.
Also, sources said, some in university administration are rooting for Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for the post. The demand, however, has met opposition as some Court members are against an elected political leader holding the post.
Besides this, two other honorary posts — those of pro-chancellor and treasurer — are also lying vacant. However, there is not much clamouring for these posts and Nawab Ibne Saeed of Chhatari area in Bulandshahr is lone contestant for pro-chancellor while Siraj Qureshim who heads India Islamic Cultural Centre, is strong claimant for treasurer’s post.
“The post of Chancellor is ceremonial head of the institution. Pro-chancellor presides in absence of Chancellor. Treasurer is an important post as he is the ex-officio member of executive council of the university and also attends finance committee meetings. It is better if there is unanimous decision for these posts but elections can be held if there are more contestants,” Rahat Abrar, public relation officer of AMU said.