Some decisions taken by the university top brass have not gone down well with the staff and students

While there is a nip in the air with temperatures dipping in the city, things are warming up on the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu) campus. Both the teachers and the students are feeling the heat of the recent decisions taken by the varsity top brass. At the centre of controversy is the Urdu language and the way its importance is being diluted.

It has been a winter of discontent ever since MANUU issued two job notifications changing the requirement of Urdu knowledge from compulsory to ‘essential’. This has touched off silent protests and dissension among the university staff and students.

The university has advertised for filling of 41 teaching posts of assistant and associate professors through employment notification 29, 32 non-teaching, and two teaching posts through notification 30.

“By relaxing the compulsory stipulation of Urdu, the university has thrown open its gates wide open for persons with little or no knowledge of Urdu to take up job here. And this is in clear contrast to the earlier notifications of MANUU wherein knowledge of Urdu was made compulsory for all teaching posts,” says Raheemulla Khan Niyazi, former chairman, Urdu Academy.

Outcry

Last year there was uproar when the university relaxed the eligibility criteria of Urdu, a concession meant only for SC/ST candidates when Urdu knowing persons from these communities are not available. But following an outcry, MANUU quickly issued a corrigendum stipulating “Urdu shall be compulsory for all teaching posts”.

But a year later, MANUU has gone back on its own decision. The latest notifications do not mention how a candidate’s knowledge of Urdu will be judged. Should a candidate have studied Urdu as a subject at SSC, plus two or graduation level?, he wondered.

MANUU authorities, however, maintain that the University Act is being followed in toto. “We are not deviating at all,” said MANUU Registrar Prof. S.M Rahmatullah.

He said fluency and competency of candidates in Urdu would be judged by the selection committee. Last year, the university insisted on the 10 plus two Urdu condition but it could not get any qualified candidates. “We can’t be rigid about it as we have to run the departments,” Prof. Rahmatullah remarked.

Official relieved

This is not all. The sudden relieving of Dr. Abdul Quayum as professor-cum-director of the Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) of the university when he was appointed on the recommendations of the selection committee has raised eyebrows.

The Academy was set up by the UGC for imparting coaching to minorities and women for civil services. The Academy is on a project mode and all activities, including the engagement of the staff, is co-terminus with the project.

This is clearly mentioned in Dr. Quayum’s appointment letter. Incidentally his service was extended up to September 30 this year when the UGC extended the RCA.

Subsequently, the UGC further extended the project up to March 31, 2017 - till the end of the 12 five year plan. But MANUU chose to end Dr. Quayum’s appointment in contravention of the terms and conditions stipulated in his appointment letter.

UGC petitioned

“I have been victimised by the administration for my straight forwardness in the matter of governance of the university”, says Dr. Quayum, who has shot off a complaint to UGC.

He was one of the members of the committee set up by the university last year to look into the eligibility criteria of Urdu for appointment. Dr. Quayum feels he is being targeted for his plain speaking.

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