Aligarh Muslim University academics to begin in Bihar soon

Aligarh Muslim University’s Bihar and Kerala campuses would become functional from the next academic session beginning July-August 2010.

While the Kerala government has provided the land and the Centre allocated initial funds for the campus in Malappuram district, the varsity is likely to get 250 acres for the purpose in Bihar’s Kishanganj district soon.

That comes from the horse’s mouth. “CM Nitish Kumar has directed officials to place the land proposal before the state cabinet at its meeting either on February 9 or February 16,” AMU VC Prof P K Abdul Azis told TOI after meeting the CM on Thursday.

Azis is hopeful of getting the land by this month-end. For, it is government-owned land falling under Chakla and Govindpur villages, 6 km from Kishanganj district HQ. “I told the CM we would be as fast as you are,” the VC said and added Kumar is “pleasantly disposed” to facilitate the project.

After the Sachar panel highlighted educational backwardness among Muslims and the National Committee for Minority Education recommended to the Centre that AMU be permitted to open campuses in different minority-concentration regions, AMU has proposed to open five special centres in Kerala, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. “We have been approached by the Assam government to open such a campus there too as the state has 39% Muslim population,” Prof Azis said and added AMU is yet to take a call on the Assam plea.

Besides offering conventional courses, the new campuses would offer medical and technical education facilities. But will they be like a full-fledged varsity as AMU is?

“AMU has on its roll today 28,000 students from 21 states of India and abroad, getting education from LKG to PhD level. But while AMU attained this in 90 years, we have plans to make each of the proposed campuses equally big in a shorter period,” Prof Azis said, pointing out that education sector has expanded fast after independence.

First of its kind in the country, the special campuses project is worth Rs 2,000 crore for which AMU has already submitted a project report to the Centre. “We also plan to seek people’s cooperation,” Azis said and recalled AMU too was initially funded by people both Hindus and Muslims.

The Aligarh-headquartered Central university has also activated its alumni, spread in 92 countries, and a team of alumni led by US-based energy scientist Dr (Prof) Masood Akhtar has been mandated to explore the possibilities of collaboration with universities in the west for the upcoming campuses.