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Centre tell SC no ‘rigid’ stand taken in AMU VC’s appointment

india Updated: Aug 06, 2016 00:37 IST

Aligarh Muslim University (Facebook). The appointment of the university’s vice chancellor, Zameeruddin Shah, has been challenged in the SC.

The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it did not take a “rigid” stand in appointment of Vice Chancellor of AMU and forwarded three short-listed names to the President for approval as the varsity has kept the UGC regulations on the issue at abeyance.

The ministry of human resource development (HRD), in its reply filed before a bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur, said that three names were forwarded to the President under the relevant provisions of the Aligarh Muslim University Act.

The President appointed one of the short-listed persons as the VC, the ministry said, adding the varsity is yet to adopt the regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

At the outset, the counsel for the UGC told the bench, also comprising justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, that the appointment of the VC should be as per regulations.

The reply of the HRD Ministry was filed in response to a plea of an alumni of the university seeking a direction to quash appointment of Lt Gen (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah as the VC.

The appointment of Shah as the VC of AMU on May 11, 2012 was challenged on the ground that according to the UGC regulations, the VC ought to have worked for at least 10 years as a professor in a university or on an equivalent post in a research or academic institute.

The petitioner, Syed Abrar Ahmed, had argued before the high court that the regulations -- which pertained to minimum qualifications and maintenance of standards in higher education -- had become binding on AMU when it had adopted these on December 6, 2010.

The ministry said that the UGC regulations on Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010 are mandatory for central universities.

“All the central universities should adopt these regulations without fail and as early as possible in order to ensure maintenance of standards in higher education,” it said.

It said that the new UGC regulations cannot lead to an “automatic amendment to the university’s Act and statutes given the autonomous amendment of the central universities as envisaged by the respective Central University Act passed by Parliament”.

Earlier, the apex court had asked the Centre whether “a university can itself be termed as a minority institution.”

The court has also sought attorney general Mukul Rohatgi’s assistance in the matter.