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AMU evicts 1,000 squatters

AMU has declared 2008 as the “year of academic rejuvenation” and kicked off a campus-cleansing operation, reports Zia Haq.
Hindustan Times | By Zia Haq, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 18, 2008 02:46 AM IST

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has declared 2008 as the “year of academic rejuvenation” and kicked off a campus-cleansing operation, hoping to come out of the shadow of last year's murders and mafia-style lawlessness on its campus.

AMU authorities have rid its hostels of 1,000 “non-students” squatting illegally after a combing operation with help from the local administration. “The university has admitted 1,000 fresh students in their place in its 70 hostels, which means a gain of Rs 25 crore as hostel dues spread across several sessions,” Vice-Chancellor PK Abdul Azis told HT.

Spelling out key initiatives in this “academic rejuvenation year” of the crime-hit university, Azis said four major schools run by AMU — which contribute to 50 per cent of the student intake at the university level — will switch to the CBSE syllabus from the next academic session. About 50 per cent of seats in AMU are set aside for some 12,000 students studying in four schools — Minto High School, City Girls’ High School, City Boys’ High School and School for the Blind. The decision to switch to CBSE came on the recommendation of the RP Singh Committee, formed to firm up AMU's school education system.

“The CBSE course will equip students to compete better at the national level,” Azis said.

He blamed illegal squatters for last year's violence and killing of three students that led to sine die closure of the university. AMU will also hold a global alumni meet this October with the purpose of setting up a fund.

“For the first time in a decade, university authorities have drawn up a list of bonafide hostellers along with their proper records and photographs,” the vice-chancellor said on the phone from Aligarh.

Azis said the university, through its counsel Soli Sorabjee, has also moved a fresh petition in the Supreme Court on whether it could set up entrance test centres in major cities, after seven members of its executive council objected to the move. The seven members said such a move could violate an apex court order to maintain status quo.

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