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Asked to return PhD degree for praising PM, says AMU student

A view of Aligarh Muslim University. File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An Aligarh Muslim University student alleged that he has been asked to return his PhD degree for correction because he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The university administration, however, called the allegations “baseless and unsubstantiated”.

Danish Rahim said he was awarded a PhD degree in Linguistics in March.

‘Right-wing supporter’

“In December 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the university, I praised him in the electronic media for taking everybody along. Before my viva voce, the Chairman called me and said I should not have given such a byte and it seems I support the right-wing. I took it lightly and attended the viva and received the degree. After the COVID wave, in August, I received a letter from the controller that there was an error and that my doctorate degree needs to be rectified to Language for Advertising, Marketing and Media (LAMM),” said Dr. Rahim, wondering how could such a mistake happen in a Central University.

Bid to justify mistake

Dr. Rahim has already approached the Allahabad High Court. He told The Hindu that in a bid to justify the mistake, the university has asked another student to return her degree. “She was awarded the degree in November 2020. She has also approached the court.”

In August, he applied for the post of assistant professor but his application was not accepted because he has a PhD in LAMM, he said. “When a university that is imparting doctorate degree in LAMM is not accepting a candidate who has a PhD in the subject, why would any other university accept my candidature? The department doesn’t have any faculty with a PhD in LAMM. During M.A, we were taught by teachers who had PhD in linguistics. It seems like a ploy to scuttle my job prospects,” he said.

A university spokesperson said Dr. Rahim did his masters and doctorate in LAMM under the Linguistics Department. “However, due to a typographical error and oversight, he was erroneously issued a PhD in Linguistics. He will be issued a doctorate degree in LAMM,” he said.

Defamation case

Describing the allegations false, Professor Warsi said he had never met Dr. Rahim in his office or elsewhere. In a university release, he said, Dr. Rahim was trying to divert attention. “I have sought legal opinion and will proceed with a defamation case against him.”

Sources said the case was sub judice but Dr. Rahim still chose to raise it closer to the next date of hearing and at a time when the National Assessment and Accreditation Council team is on the campus.

A student, requesting anonymity, said Dr. Rahim’s allegations might be baseless but it has brought some real concerns to light. “It is true that some students try to enter linguistics department through LAMM. But why will somebody spend three to four years doing PhD when he is not eligible to teach the subject or appear in NET/JRF test?”


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 9:01:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/asked-to-return-phd-degree-for-praising-pm-says-amu-student/article37798671.ece

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