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AMU takes a step forward: Nominates a women for Vice Chancellor post

Kavita Sharma

AMU VC Elections: In more than 100 years history of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), one of the most revered minority institutions of the world, when for the first time a women’s name is nominated for the post of the Vice Chancellor it is considered a big leap towards a progressive society.

Dr Naima Gulrez, the principal of Women’s College of AMU, has already made history by mere being in the nomination list as a contestant for Vice Chancelor’s post competing with five other names. If elected, Dr Gulrez would write history as the first women Vice Chancellor of AMU, an institution which has played a pivotal role in the education of Muslim women.

The Executive Council of the University has five potential candidates for this position of which one is a women. The remaining four are Professor Faizan Mustafa, Prof Qayyum Hussain, Prof Furqan Qamar and Professor M U Rabbani. Out of the 20 names that were proposed for consideration, these five candidates have been chosen through a voting process through ballot papers.

Process of the VC Election at AMU

The AMU authorities have already initiated the process of appointing a new VC. From the list of 20 candidates, the five names have been shortlisted and now the University court will sit on November 6 to finalize the three names. These names will go to the visitor (President of India) who has the authority to select one name from the three. According to acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Gulrez, who also happens to be the husband of Dr Naima, “ it was a long pending demand and for which I was appointed. I am happy we have fulfilled the promise, total 32 applied for the post and 20 contestant were shortlisted, of which 19 voted…now five names have been recommended, and we have a Court’s meeting on 6th November, he added. The court will finally select three out of five and the list will be sent to the Visitor.

According to Mohd Amir Minto, Ex student Of AMU, This is the first time a women applicant name is mentioned in the VC list and this is because after the UGC guidelines now the professors and lecturers with 10 years of teaching experience can apply for the VC post. Earlier only retired Bureaucrats were considered for it. This is the reason we have a woman name in the panel, Amir added.

The Unusual delay for the V-C Election.

The Vice chancellor seat has been lying vacant since April this year. After being nominated as a member of the UP legislative council Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor who was Vice Chancellor since 2017, resigned from this post. Mohd Dr Gulrez was the acting VC since then, but the AMU Teachers Association (AMUTA) along with prominent Alumni and students were demanding for a permanent VC. They also staged a one day Dharna demanding panel formation for the appointing a regular V-C. The former AMU student Union President Azam Baig also proposed for a Dharna if the VC election process was not initiated soon. The AMU old boys Association decided to observe the Sir Syed day which falls on 17 October as a “Save AMU day”. Two MPs of the Samajwadi party has also written letter to President Draupadi Murmu raising their concern for the delay of appointing the Vice Chancellor. It is only after the agitations and protest by the Students that the university authorities came into action.

As per the Act of the AMU, the sitting Full time V-C should start the process of the new V-C six months prior to his retirement but it has been delayed. The acting V-C is serving from five months. Raising Concern over it, Rajya sabha MP, Javed Ali Khan from Samajwadi Party, said “ This is how Minority Institutions are getting damaged”.

The Five Distinguished individuals in the panel are:

1. Professor Dr Faizan Mustafa: He is the most popular and known face of the VC’s post. He is current VC of Chanakya National law university in Patna, Also served as the founding V-C of the National law University Orissa and led NALSAR University of law for a decade.

2. Dr Naima Gulrez: She is the First woman in the panel for this post. Currently the Principal of Abdullah Women’s College, AMU. She has an excellent Academic record. Before assuming post of the Principal she was a professor and chairperson in the Department of Psycology.

3. Prof Kayyum Hussain: He is currently VC of Cluster University in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. He also served as a Dean of the faculty of Life Sciences at AMU.

4.Prof. M U Rabbani: A cardiologist and senior professor in the faculty of life Sciences and Department of Bio Chemistry at AMU. He has also served as a Dean of the faculty of Medicine at the JN Medical College of AMU.

5. Prof. Furqan Qamar: Another candidate for VC post. He comes from Jamia Milia University, He was earlier V-C at the University of Rajasthan and also served as VC of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh.

The UGC Guidelines for Appointment of a Vice Chancellor

As per the University Grants Commission, Regulations 2018, the VC of a university, is appointed by the Visitor/Chancellor, from a panel of three to five names recommended by the duly constituted Search cum Selection Committee.

In Indian universities, President of India is a Visitor of all the Central Universities and the Governor of the respective states is the Chancellor of all the state universities.

In case of a conflict between the State University and the UGC Regulations,2018, to the extent State legislation is repugnant, the UGC Regulations, 2018 shall prevail.

A visitor is empowered to call for a set of fresh names in case of dissatisfaction with the given panel.

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