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Finally, Jauhar University gets minority status

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By Maulshree Seth

Lucknow: Mohammad Ali Jauhar University in Rampur, the dream project of SP leader Azam Khan, has been granted the "minority status" by National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI).

A Bill granting minority status to the university had been pending with the Governor for the past six years and Khan had criticised Raj Bhawan last year for "delaying the Bill". Khan is founder of the university, which was established as a private university in 2006.

MSA Siddiqui, chairman of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions said, "The decision was taken by us on Tuesday but it has not been taken in a day. The application had come to us last year and we had been evaluating it. We had sought reply from both Uttar Pradesh government on the status of the trust and from Governor House as there was a Bill pending there."

He said the state government gave its clearance, and the Governor secretariat informed the commission that they had no objections.

Siddiqui said the university would get the minority status on the ground that it has been sponsored by a registered society and run by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust, all members of which are Muslims. "Then, Section 8 of the Act, under which the university was established, carves out reservation for Muslims upto 50 per cent," Siddiqui said.

Section 12B of The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions Act, 2004 (2 of 2005) gives power to the commission to decide on the minority status of an educational institution.

The university has been in controversy since the very beginning. During the previous Samajwadi Party regime, the state Assembly had passed the Bill in 2004 to establish it as a state university and make Azam Khan pro-vice chancellor for life. However, following objections by the then Governor, T V Rajeshwar, the Bill was withdrawn and later, another Bill was passed for establishing the university as a private one.

The university again landed in controversy when in May 2007, just a few days before the counting of votes in the Assembly elections, a special session of the Assembly was called to clear the Bill giving minority status to the university. The Opposition had boycotted that session calling it illegal. The Bill had been pending with the Governor House since then.

(Courtesy: The Indian Express)
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