Minorities' varsity in Mysore

New Delhi, Sep 14, DH News Service:


The universities, to be set up on the lines of Aligarh Muslim University, aim to provide quality higher education to students from minority communities, sources in the Ministry of Minority Affairs told Deccan Herald.

The remaining two universities will come up at Kishanganj in Bihar and Ajmer in Rajasthan. “Fifty per cent of seats in these universities will be reserved for minority students to prepare them to be competitive on the job market,” an official said
According to the ministry’s draft proposal, these universities will be set up on the land owned by the Waqf boards, and the ministry will provide the funds to develop infrastructure. The universities will offer courses in all modern subjects along with theological teachings.

“The draft has been prepared and will be sent to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and the Law Ministry for their approval,” sources said.

However, the biggest hurdle that the authorities are likely to confront in establishing the universities will be legal questions like providing 50 per cent reservation for students from the minority communities. “Our effort is to find a solution according to the constitutional provisions so that the proposal doesn’t get stuck in legalities as it happened in the case of AMU,”  officials said.

In a 1968 lawsuit, the Supreme Court had scrapped AMU’s minority status. The then prime minister Indira Gandhi restored AMU’s minority status through legislation in 1981. But in 2006, a Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the AMU Amendment Act, 1981.

It rejected the Central government’s plea for restoring AMU’s minority status and scrapped 50 per cent reservation for Muslim students.

This was challenged by the Centre in the apex court, which is yet to take a decision on the matter. Officials in the Ministry of Minority Affairs said they were exploring new models to avoid such legal hurdles.

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