New Delhi, Oct 9: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has reportedly suggested the government to remove word ‘Muslim’ from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and ‘Hindu’ from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to reflect their secular character. The suggestion to drop words ‘Muslim’ and ‘Hindu’ from AMU and BHU respectively is contained in an audit of AMU. The audit was made by a committee set by the UGC at the behest of Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry. The committee comprising IIT-Madras professor Shripad Karmalkar, Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati University V-C Kailash Sodani, Guwahati University professor Mazhar Asif and IIM-Bangalore professor Sankarshan Basu inspected the AMU before preparing the audit report.

The committee, which was formed to probe complaints of irregularities against 10 central universities, suggested that the AMU should either be called just ‘Aligarh University’ or be named after its founder, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, reported Indian Express. The same reason was given in its recommendation to amend the name of BHU. The AMU, being a centrally-funded university, is a secular institution. Hence, the word ‘Muslim’ should be removed, argued panel members, the report said.

Describing the AMU as ‘feudal’ in nature, the committee called for measures to uplift poor Muslims on campus. The committee’s report, however, did not comment on the institutions’ minority status as the matter is sub-judice. The committee also questioned the selection process of AMU’s vice-chancellor, suggesting that it should be tweaked to align it with the appointment procedure followed by other central universities.

The audit report asked AMU why a majority of faculty appointments are of its former students. recommended a five-year gap for all ex-students before they can be recruited as teachers in the university. It also said that the university’s tuition fee be increased to help raise more resources internally and wants the reduction in the alumni representation on different AMU bodies.