AMU, BHU might lose 'Hindu', 'Muslim' from names
If a UGC panel's recommendations are accepted, the reputed Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU) will lose religions from their names. The proposal is based on the fact that both are central universities funded by the government and hence are secular. More changes have been suggested for AMU in its audit. The report on BHU is yet to be made public.
In April, the University Grants Commission had set up five panels to examine 10 central universities over alleged irregularities. Apart from AMU and BHU, "academic, research, financial and infrastructure audit" was ordered for Pondicherry University; Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University (Uttarakhand); Allahabad University; MG Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (Maharashtra); Hari Singh Gour University (MP); Tripura University; and Central University in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Jammu.
The panel which audited AMU didn't cover BHU but referred to its name. For AMU, it suggested renaming the institution to simply Aligarh University, or after its founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. BHU could be renamed similarly, it said.
The audit committee has reportedly also suggested that AMU's V-C selection policy should be amended: unlike other central universities where government-appointed panels screen candidates, AMU's executive council does the job instead. The audit also claimed AMU promoted "inbreeding" and doesn't have a "national character"; according to V-C Tariq Mansoor, AMU has a 60:40 ratio of Muslim and non-Muslim students.
AMU's process of V-C selection promotes autonomy and transparency- a fight many government universities have been waging. When a government panel chooses candidates, political affiliation and expediency matter more than academic merit. Regarding the 60:40 ratio, V-C Mansoor attributes it to courses like Arabic and Farsi which get only Muslim applicants. BHU, JNU and others too have been accused of "inbreeding" earlier, AMU said.