Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), shut indefinitely on April 30 after violent overnight clashes between student groups, will reopen on May 18 in a phased manner.
Vice-chancellor Prof PK Abdul Azis, deans of faculties and principals of colleges took the decision at a meeting on Thursday evening.
The university would begin providing hostel facilities for BTech final year and all final semester students of other faculties from May 16.
The AMU decision came after the human resource development (HRD) ministry quietly nudged Azis to reopen the university as soon as possible.
Earlier in the day, HRD minister Kapil Sibal updated Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the crisis at AMU after it was shut down following the clashes during which bullets were fired, top sources told Hindustan Times.
The meeting came on the day when Azis ordered a search of all hostel rooms after reports suggested students were stocking firearms.
One of India's oldest universities, AMU has traditionally been viewed as representative of the aspirations and concerns of a wide section of educated young Muslims. The Congress is keen not to ignore their concerns.
The violence and the decision to close down the university indefinitely and the hostel search order are only the latest in a series of stand-offs between the VC and the varsity's student and teacher unions.
During the latest imbroglio, agitating students demanded a CBI probe into the firing and alleged bungling in the purchase of CCTV cameras.
The university's teachers had also gone on strike demanding reopening of the university and an inquiry into the firing.
An increasingly worried government has on most occasions found its views ignored by the VC, who also faces a slew of corruption charges.
A Presidential probe into the corruption allegations returned a divided verdict, with the two member judges of the enquiry panel submitting opposing conclusions — one indicting Azis, and the other exonerating him — as was first reported by HT on March 23.
Hostel search on to seize fire arms
Amidst allegations of the Aligarh Muslim University students stocking fire arms in some hostels, its vice-chancellor PK Abdul Azis on Thursday ordered a search to seize any such material.
"In view of official reports that warring student groups have stored fire arms in some hostels, the university authorities will carry out extensive search in hostels to seize any such material," Azis said in a statement here.
The Proctor has been authorised to complete the operation within the next three days, he said.
Proctor Beg Mujahid Beg in a press conference on May 2 had alleged some hostels were being used by students for stocking fire arms. Condemning the statement, the AMU Teachers' Association had passed a resolution describing the remark as "irresponsible, baseless and defamatory". Reacting strongly to the VC’s statement, the Teacher's Association secretary said the issue of illicit arms in hostels was being racked up to justify the closure of the AMU.