Rename Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University without religious tags: UGC

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It appears that the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) aren't on the same page over changing the names of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

"The government has not made any decision to change the name of AMU and BHU (AMU aur BHU ke naam badalne ka sarkaar ka koi nirnay nahi hai)", Javadekar was quoted as saying by ANI.

A UGC panel has recommended that words such as "Hindu" and "Muslim" be dropped from the Banaras Hindu University and the Aligarh Muslim University respectively as they not reflect their secular character.

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On being asked about suggestions that the institution should either be called just Aligarh University or be named after its founder, Syed Ahmed Khan, former VC Shah said, "We are traditionalists".

The recommendation was stated in the audit report of the panel formed to probe irregularities in ten central universities. It cited the same reason to recommend that BHU's name be amended, too.

Meanwhile, faculty members and students at both AMU and BHU objected to UGC's proposal to change the names.

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The Express added that the committee also described AMU as "feudal" in nature and called for measures to uplift poor Muslims on campus.

"The university's 60:40 ratio of Muslim and non-Muslim students was not a designed pattern but due to a large number of courses like Arabic, Urdu and Farsi for which only Muslim students apply", said Tariq Mansoor, the Vice Chancellor of AMU. The report has also flagged the culture of "inbreeding" in AMU in which a majority of faculty appointments are of its former students.

As per the report, apart from AMU, the institutions that were subjected to an "academic, research, financial and infrastructure audit" by the committees, also included: Pondicherry University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Central University of Jharkhand, Allahabad University, Central University of Rajasthan, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, Central University of Jammu, Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh and University of Tripura.

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