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Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh Muslim University logo.png
Former names
Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (1875 - 1919)
Motto
Arabic: عَلَّمَ الاِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَم
ʻallam al-insān-a mā lam yaʻlam
Motto in English
Taught man what he knew not (Qur'an 96:5)
TypePublic
Established1875
Endowment$18.2 million[1]
ChancellorMufaddal Saifuddin
Vice-ChancellorProf. Tariq Mansoor
Location, ,
CampusUrban
Colours              
NicknameAMU
AffiliationsUGC, NAAC, AIU
Websitewww.amu.ac.in

Aligarh Muslim University (abbreviated as AMU) is an Indian public university, which was established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. The establishment of the university was a part of the Aligarh Movement, which pushed for establishing a modern education system for the Indian Muslim populace. It came to be known as the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920, following the Aligarh Muslim University Act. In 1922, the women's college became a constituent of the university while by the 1930s the university had a medicine college and hospital, and an engineering college. The primary campus of the university is located in the city of Aligarh, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, with three off-campus centres in AMU Malappuram Campus (Kerala), AMU Murshidabad centre (West Bengal), and Kishanganj Centre (Bihar).

The university offers courses in traditional and modern branches of education, and is an institute of national importance, under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India. In 2006, the minority educational institution status of the university was repealed by the Allahabad High Court; the issue is currently pending before the Supreme Court of India. Aligarh Muslim University has been ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018, and 18 in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2017. Various clubs and societies function under the aegis of the university and it has various notable academicians, literary figures, politicians, jurists, lawyers, sportspersons, among others as its alumni. The university has been portrayed in films such as Mere Mehboob (1963) and Aligarh (2015). In 2017, Tariq Mansoor assumed office as the 39th vice-chancellor of the university.

History

Bab-e-Syed, entrance to the university

Founding

The university was established as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan ,[2][3] starting functioning on 24 May 1875.[4] The movement associated with Syed Ahmad Khan and the college came to be known as the Aligarh Movement, which pushed to realise the need for establishing a modern education system for the Indian Muslim populace.[5] He considered competence in English and Western sciences necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence.[citation needed] Khan's image for the college was based on his visit to Oxford University and Cambridge University, and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model.[6] A committee was formed by the name of foundation of Muslim College and asked people to fund generously. Then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Thomas Baring gave a donation of 10,000 while the Lt. Governor of the North Western Provinces contributed 1,000, and by March 1874 funds for the college stood at 1,53,92 and 8 anas[4] Maharao Raja Mahamdar Singh Mahamder Bahadur of Patiala contributed 58,000 while Raja Shambhu Narayan of Benaras donated 60.[7] Donations also came in from the Maharaja of Vizianagaram also donated.[8] The college was initially affiliated to he University of Calcutta for the matriculate examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. [4]

Establishment as university

Masjid at the Aligarh Muslim University

Circa 1900, efforts began to transform the college into having its own university. The Aligarh Muslim University Act of 1920 made it a central university.[6][9] Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan and Aga Khan III had helped in realising the idea by collecting funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University.[10] In 1927, the Ahmadi School for the Visually Challenged, Aligarh Muslim University was established and in the following year, a medical school was attached to the university. The college of unani medicine, Ajmal Khan Tibbya College was established in 1927 with the Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College Hospital being established later in 1932.[11] The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital was established later in 1962 as a part of the university.[12] In 1935, the Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology was also established as a constituent of the university.[13]

Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement but after 1939, political sentiment shifted towards support for a Muslim separatist movement. Students and faculty members supported Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the university came to be a center of the Pakistan Movement.[14][15]

Women's education

Dr. Sheikh Abdullah ("Papa Mian") is the founder of the women's college of Aligarh Muslim University and had pressed for women's education, writing articles while also publishing a monthly women's magazine, Khatoon. To start the college for women, he had led a delegation to the Lt. Governor of the United Provinces while also writing a proposal to Sultan Jahan, Begum of Bhopal. Begum Jahan had allocated a grant of 100 per month for the education of women. On 19 October 1906, he successfully started a school for girls with five students and one teacher at a rented property in Aligarh.[16] The foundation stone for the girls' hostel was laid by him and his wife, Waheed Jahan Begum ("Ala Bi") after struggles on 7 November 1911.[16] Later, a high school was established in 1921, gaining the status of an intermediate college in 1922, finally becoming a constituent of the Aligarh Muslim University as an undergraduate college in 1937.[17] Later, Dr. Abdullah's daughters also served as principals of the women's college.[16] One of his daughters was Mumtaz Jahan Haider, during whose tenure as principal, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad had visited the university and offered a grant of 9,00,000. She was involved in the establishment of the Women's College, organised various extracurricular events, and reasserted the importance of education for Muslim women.[18]

In 2014, then vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah turned down a demand by female students to be allowed to use the Maulana Azad Library, which was males-only. Shah stated that the issue was not one of discipline, but of space as if girls were allowed in the library there would be "four times more boys", putting a strain on the library's capacity. [19][20][21] Although there was a separate library for the university's Women's College, it was not as well-stocked as the Maulana Azad Library[19] Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani decried Shah's defence as "an insult to daughters".[20] Responding to a petition filed by Human Rights Law Network, the Allahabad High Court ruled in November 2014 that the university's ban on female students from using the library was unconstitutional, and that accommodations must be made to facilitate student's use regardless of gender. [22] The Court gave the university time until 24 November 2014 to comply.[22]

Minority institution status

Aligarh Muslim University is an institute of national importance, under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India.[23][24] In 1967, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court had held that the university is not a minority educational institution protected under the Indian constitution; the verdict had been given in case to which the university was not a party.[25] In 1981, an amendment was made to the Aligarh Muslim University Act, following which in 2006 the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the act which accorded the university minority educational institution status.[26] In April 2016, the Indian government stated that it would not appeal against the decision.[27][28] In February 2019, the issue was referred by the Supreme Court of India to a constitution bench of seven judges.[26][25]

Organisation

The university's formal head is the chancellor, though this is a titular figure, and is not involved with the day-to-day running of the university. The chancellor is elected by the members of the University Court. The university's chief executive is the vice-chancellor, appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of the court. The court is the supreme governing body of the university and exercises all the powers of the university, not otherwise provided for by the Aligarh Muslim University Act, and the statutes, ordinances and regulations of the university.[29]

On 11 April 2015, Mufaddal Saifuddin was elected chancellor and Ibne Saeed Khan, the former Nawab of Chhatari was elected the pro-Chancellor.[30] Habibur Rahman, former vice chancellor of Agra University, was elected honorary treasurer.[31] On 17 May 2017, Tariq Mansoor assumed office as the 39th vice-chancellor of the university.[32]

Academic profile

Aligarh Muslim University is a fully residential university having 13 faculties, 7 constituent colleges (5 colleges academic programs), 15 Centres, 3 Institutes, 10 schools.[33] Recently the university opened faculty of International Studies[34] The university's Faculty of Theology has two departments, one for the Shi'a school of thought and another for the Sunni school of thought.[35] The university has three off-campus centres at Malappuram (Kerala), Murshidabad (West Bengal), and Kishanganj (Bihar).[citation needed]

Rankings

University and College rankings
General – international
QS (World) (2018)[36]801-1000
QS (BRICS) (2018)[37]161-170
QS (Asia) (2018)[38]238
Times (World) (2018)[39]601-800
Times (BRICS) (2017)[40]157
Times (Asia) (2018)[41]158
General – India
NIRF (Overall) (2017)[42]18
NIRF (Universities) (2017)[43]11
Engineering – India
NIRF (2017)[44]40
India Today (2017)[45]17
Medical - India
India Today (2017)[46]8
Law – India
India Today (2017)[47]2

Internationally, AMU was ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018.[36] The same rankings ranked it 238 in Asia[38] and 161-170 among BRICS nations.[37] It was ranked 601-800 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018,[39] 158 in Asia[41] and 157 among BRICS and Emerging Economies in 2017.[40] It was ranked 18 in India overall by the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2017[42] and 11th among universities.[43]

Among engineering colleges, the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, the engineering college of the university, was ranked 17 by India Today in 2017[45] and 40 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework among engineering colleges in 2017.[44]

The Faculty of Law has ranked 2nd in India by India Today in 2017.[47] The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, the medical school of the university, has been ranked 8th by India Today in 2017.[46]

Libraries

Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh Muslim University

The Maulana Azad Library is the primary library of the university, consisting of a central library and over 100 departmental and college libraries. It houses royal decrees of Mughal emperors such as Babur, Akbar and Shah Jahan.[48] The foundation of the library was laid in 1877 at the time of establishment of the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College by Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, then viceroy of India and it was named after him as Lytton Library. The present seven-storied building was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime Minister of independent India, in 1960 and the library was named after Abul Kalam Azad, popularly known as Maulana Azad, the first education minister of the independent India.[48][49]

The social science cyber library was inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee, then President of India, on 27 December 2013.[50] In 2015, it was accredited with the International Organization for Standardization certification.[51]

Student life

There exists a student union by the name of Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union in the university. Sherwani is required to be worn by male students during official events. [52] The university provides sherwanis at a subsidized price,.[53] In early 2013, Zameer Uddin Shah, then Vice Chancellor of the university, insisted that male students have to wear sherwani if they wanted to meet him.[54]

Traditions

Vibrant traditions of Aligarh Culture were enthusiastically practised by the Aligs (AMU fraternity) which added a distinct charm to the personality of AMU students and teachers. The use of wit and humour in conversations is used to be the hallmark of Aligs. AMU is known for its intellectualism and for its Culture, Etiquettes (Tameez,Tehzeeb and Adab) respect for others.[55] You just cannot gatecrash into anybody's room except yours until you have knocked and waited for an affirmation. There's an untold dress code which is followed in the university where one can't wear folded sleeves or overtly casual dresses to classrooms and social functions/gatherings. The recipients of polite behavior aren't only the seniors and professors. Not only do the students talk politely among themselves, but there's rule regarding addressing anyone from the canteen/mess staff as well. A guest is a guest”. Any student's guest should be treated as a guest by all. If seniors and juniors are eating together somewhere, the seniors are to bear the bills. All public gatherings, functions, and events start with a recitation of a few verses of the Quran and end with the University Tarana (AMU's theme song).[56]

Clubs and societies

The university has sports and different clubs functioning under its aegis. These clubs and societies are working in various departments and hostels. Siddons Union Club is historical among all due to its history of producing internationally acclaimed debtors.[57] It was established in the year 1884 under Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union and was named after Henry George Impey Siddons, the first principal of the MAO college.[58] It hosted a number of National and International Politicians, Writers, Nobel Laureates, Players, and Journalists, including the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Jawahar Lal Nehru.[59]

Centrally at the university level, there is Cultural Education Centre (formerly GEC) which has several clubs for students activities namely, Drama Club, Literary and Debating Club, Club for Short Evening Courses (CSC), Hobbies Club, Music Club etc. Each club is represented by teacher as In-charge and students as Secretaries and members. They are selected by past experience in relevant fields and hold office for one year.[60] In residential lives of students also, each Hall (hostel) has separate hostels and students post holders are elected or selected for literary and cultural societies. They work for food distribution and proper management of hall with the support of Provost, who is selected from among the Professors.

Sporting clubs include the Cricket Club, Aligarh Muslim University[61] and the Muslim University Riding Club.[62] The Raleigh Literary Society of the university hosts competitive events, plays, and performances,[63][64] including performances of Shakespeare's plays.[65] The society is named after Shakespeare critic, Sir Walter Raleigh who had served as the English professor at the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College from 1885 to 1887.[65] The Sultania Historical Society of the university publishes the Bulletin of Sultania Historical Society, which is a quarterly peer reviewed journal.[66] It was revived in 2017 with Lubna Irfan as its editor and Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi as its general editor, along with Irfan Habib, Farhat Hasan among others on its advisory board. The society, earlier known as the Sultania Historical Study, is named after Begum Sultan Jahan of Bhopal.[66]

The Law Society (Aligarh Muslim University) was founded in 1894 as a non-profit student organization. It has long traditional character which always uplifts the students' participation and performance in relation to legal affairs in different arena. The Dean, Faculty of Law is the President of the Society. The main task of the Law Society is to assist students within the Department of Law with all aspects of their study. The society organizes events, both academic and social, from annual fest to freshers social and farewell party for final year students. Networking with legal professional forms an important part of work in building a presence for Aligarh Muslim University Law graduates with the legal profession.

AMU Alumni Associations

AMU has rich cultural history of alumni relations all over the world who are working under the title AMU Old Boys Associations (AMUOBA).[67][68][69][70][71][72] The Old Boys Association at Aligarh was established in the year 1898.[73] major aims as per their own declaration are, to work in the for the betterment of the University, to develop close relationship among the old boys, the University staff and the Trustees and to Promote of moral values among the old boys.On 10 April 1914, the Old Boys' Lodge was formally inaugurated at Aligarh; the foundation stone of the building was laid by Nawab Viqarul Mulk in 1912. The first Secretary of the Association was Mr. Bahadur Ali. Among other distinguished earlier secretaries, the names of Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan and Maulana Shaukat Ali may be mentioned.

AMU Campuses

Law Department, AMU Malappuram Campus, Kerala Malappuram

Aligarh Muslim University has established three centres at Malappuram, (Kerala) and Murshidabad, (West Bengal) and Kishanganj, (Bihar) while a site has been identified for Aurangabad, (Maharashtra) centre.[74] The AMU Centre AMU Malappuram Campus and Murshidabad began functioning in February 2011 with the commencement of MBA and BA.LL.B (Hons) courses.[75][76] They were established by A.M.U. under Section 5(2)(C) of the A.M.U. (Amendment) Act,1981 and under Section 12(2) of the University Act. [Act XL 1920 and A.M.U. (Amendment) Act,1972]. AMU Kishanganj Centre in Bihar started functioning from 2013 onward with MBA and B.ed. courses.

Notable alumni

AMU has produced a number of successful people in all walks of life who are working in India and abroad. Following is official list of AMU Alumni.[77]

AMU Alumni from Literature Field

In popular culture

Cinematic films set in the university include Mere Mehboob, a 1963 film directed by H. S. Rawail starring Rajendra Kumar, Sadhana, Ashok Kumar, Nimmi, Pran, Johnny Walker and Ameeta. The 1966 film Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal was also filmed on the campus.[88] The 2015 film, Aligarh portrays the struggles faced by Ramchandra Siras, a homosexual professor from the university.[89]

See also

Further reading

  • Ahmad, Aijaz (18 February 2015). Aligarh Muslim University: An Educational and Political History, 1920-47. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1-5085-3673-4.
  • Graff, Violette (11 August 1990). "Aligarh's Long Quest for 'Minority' Status: AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981". Economic and Political Weekly. 25 (32): 1771–1781. JSTOR 4396615.
  • Hasan, Mushirul; Qadri, Mohd. Afzal Husain (1 March 1985). "Nationalist and separatist trends in Aligarh, 1915-47". The Indian Economic & Social History Review. 22 (1): 1–33. doi:10.1177/001946468502200101.
  • Minault, Gail; Lelyveld, David (1974). "The Campaign for a Muslim University, 1898–1920". Modern Asian Studies. 8 (2): 145–189. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00005448. JSTOR 311636.
  • Noorani, A. G. (13 May 2016). "History of Aligarh Muslim University". The Frontline. Retrieved 2 October 2019.

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