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AMU likely to adopt CUET after govt declines exemption request

According to a senior AMU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the ministry’s reply will be placed before the committee set up by the university's Academic Council for consideration.

The Non-Government Aided Colleges Management Federation called for an "all-out fight to protect the autonomy of higher educational institutions” and condemned the tepid response of the Bhagwant Singh Mann government of Punjab towards the issues of the colleges. (Representational Image)

ALIGARH MUSLIM University (AMU) had written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) last month seeking exemption from Central University Entrance Test (CUET) citing, among other reasons, a subjudice matter in the Supreme Court pertaining to its admissions, an internal communication accessed by The Indian Express has revealed.

However, AMU’s request was not granted by the government as a reply sent by the Ministry of Education (MoE) on March 15 clarified that the common entrance test will not affect the university’s inherent power to admit students of its choice as per existing eligibility criteria and quotas.

According to a senior AMU official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the ministry’s reply will be placed before the committee set up by the university’s Academic Council for consideration. However, the official added that the university, in all likelihood, will adopt the entrance test given that it is funded by Union government and the MoE has clarified that CUET will not impact reservation at AMU.

Starting this year, CUET is the only gateway for admissions to undergraduate programmes across 45 central universities.

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When asked whether central universities that reserve seats for minorities, such as AMU and Jamia Millia Islamia, will also have to adopt CUET, UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar had told reporters that the test is compulsory and will not affect the quota of reserved seats at such institutions.

In his letter written to the UGC on February 21, AMU vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor wrote that the question of admissions in AMU is subjudice in the Supreme Court and that the university be left out of the CUET until the matter is decided in the top court.

He also said that in order to fulfil its objective of promoting Oriental and Islamic studies and give instruction in Muslim theology and religion besides promoting cultural and education advancement of Muslims as per the AMU Act, the university recognises certificates of almost 151 madaris/institutions and their passouts are eligible to get admissions at various courses of AMU. The letter stated that their eligibility to appear in CUET will be adversely affected if the centralised test will not admit them.

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In the reply sent to him, the MoE stated that the interim order by SC on status quo to be maintained in admission process cited by the AMU in its original letter, does not bar the AMU from participating in any test for selection of candidates but is mainly applicable in context of reservation quota which will not be affected as university will follow its own rules, eligibility and quota for admissions. Citing that the students of madaris/institutions who are currently eligible will continue to be so, the letter stated that CUET will be used only for preparing the merit list of candidates.

First published on: 27-03-2022 at 03:04 IST
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