Union Human Resource & Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday dismissed suggestions that the government is planning to alter the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU). “AMU and BHU are very old institutions, and we do not intend to change their names. We formed a committee to look into the administrative, academic and research audits of universities,” Javadekar told reporters.
“The committee studied various aspects and I have not seen what they have said, but there is neither such decision nor is there any such intention to change the names (of these universities),” the HRD minister added.
The HRD minister’s comment came after a report by The Indian Express which says that a government audit of central universities has suggested that the words ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ be dropped from the names of AMU and BHU, respectively, in order to reflect their secular character. READ: Remove ‘M’ from AMU, ‘H’ from BHU, says UGC panel
One of the five committees, set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on April 25 at the behest of HRD Ministry, has made the suggestion, which is contained in an audit of AMU. The committee was set up to investigate the complaints of irregularities against 10 central universities. Although the AMU audit did not cover BHU, the institution’s name was referred in its report.
The committee suggested that the institution should either be called just ‘Aligarh University’ or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. Similarly, it cited the same reason to recommend that BHU’s name be amended as well.
Apart from AMU, the institutions that were subjected to an “academic, research, financial and infrastructure audit” by the committees comprise: Pondicherry University, Allahabad University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Central University of Jharkhand, Central University of Rajasthan, Central University of Jammu, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, University of Tripura and Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh.
With inputs from Agencies