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AMU withdraws new female dress code after row

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Saturday announced it was withdrawing a controversial dress code order meant for some of its female students in the wake of the negative publicity it was attracting, but said college girls should not come to the campus in jeans.
By HT Correspondent and PTI, Aligarh
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2013 08:28 PM IST

The Aligarh Muslim University has withdrawn a notice asking girl students to wear “decent clothes” such as salwar kameez and clarified it was an advisory and not a diktat.

The controversial circular pasted by the provost of the girls’ hostel, Abdullah Hall, on Thursday had also advised students not to carry more than one mobile phone.

Amid a backlash, the AMU withdrew the circular late on Friday night, while clarifying that it “ever even remotely suggested that jeans or T-shirts or any other dress is on the ban list at AMU”.

“We have no intention whatsoever of specifying any dress code and neither did the above circular do so. All that we have sought is that students including girls should be in decent attire which reflects the ethos of our society,” Brigadier (retd) S Ahmad Ali, AMU’s pro-vice chancellor said on Saturday.

He said there were five halls of residence for girls in the university and one had issued the advisory mainly dealing with rules and regulations including the compulsory presentation of ID cards while entering the girls' hostels.

He dismissed reports claiming use of internet and social networking websites was banned in the university’s hostels. “This is total fabrication. In fact, we are in the process of implementing a project under which every student will have a direct access to internet facilities in their hostel rooms.”

Ali, who is holding charge as the acting vice-chancellor in the absence of VC Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, said media reports had distorted the image of the institution.

The AMU, founded by educationist Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in 1877 (as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College), has been a seat of quality education for millions.

Ali said, “Ever since a new administration assumed charge at the AMU about a year back, we have left no stone unturned to modernise and revitalise the entire edifice of this historic institution.”

He said during the first year, the main effort was to get rid of all unlawful and mischievous elements who had brought a bad name to the institution.

“We are also on the fast track for upgrading and modernising the academic system to take this institution to the very top in the country. During this process, we appear to have stepped on many toes and, perhaps, have to pay the price.”

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