Crisis in AMU’s Murshidabad campus

Hard times: A view of the Murshidabad campus of the Aligarh Muslim University. — File Photo  

Faced If the fund marked for Murshidabad campus of the Aligarh Muslim University [AMU] is not disbursed by the end of March, it may jeopardise the career of more than 500 students studying in the campus. The director of the campus, which is officially called the Murshidabad Centre, said the allotted fund would lapse on March 31, “shattering dreams” of many. The campus, located in the erstwhile constituency of President Pranab Mukherjee in Jangipur, was inaugurated in 2014 by the President.

The campus received Rs. 60 crore of the Rs. 107.80 crore marked for the institution in August 2013. However, the director of the University, Dr. Badaruddoza, has no idea if they will receive the rest of the fund by March 31 this year.

“The fund was given under the 12th Five-Year Plan. If the rest of the amount [Rs. 47.80 crore] does not reach us by March 31, it would lapse,” he said. Five-Year Plans will come to an end with the conclusion of 12th Plan on March 31, according to Finance Ministry’s earlier circular.

The officials of Murshidabad Centre said lack of funds would completely destabilise the functioning of the off-campus Centre of the AMU as the authority may not be in a position to pay salaries of about 30 faculty members and 27 non-teaching staff.

Following non-payment, if the teachers leave, it would affect the students, predominantly from the minority community, studying in three departments. About 180 students are studying BA [LLB] in a five-year integrated course, about 80 studying Education while 300, including 80 girls, are in the MBA course at the Murshidabad Centre.

“We are under huge pressure as the guardians of the students are upset with us. They are asking if we could not run it why we started it,” he said. A reply from Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Human Resource Development Ministry, is awaited.

The Centre is built on a 288-acre campus in Jangipur, a constituency that had earlier elected Mr. Mukherjee and later his son Abhijit. The present MP has huge plans to expand the centre which is located in the Muslim-majority district of Murshidabad.

“As these areas [Muslim-majority districts] have little or no access to good quality education, the Campus was set up here. We also had plans to start BA and MA in social welfare and computer applications,” said Dr. Badaruddoza.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 3:39:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/Crisis-in-AMU%E2%80%99s-Murshidabad-campus/article17036659.ece

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