The AMU is comprehensively debating the idea of having distant campuses in different parts of India. While, the statutory restrictions/ambiguities still remain to be clarified as to whether the AMU Act mandates us to go for such exercise. Statutory restrictions (if any) apart, this particular idea of the VC to have distant campuses is just extremely laudable.
[One fails to understand as to what has been the basis of identifying particular regions/places to be chosen for establishing the distant campuses of AMU].
However, if it does give us a mandate, we should consider the proposal that Bihar deserves to have such campus for more reasons than one:
It has lesser number of institutions (government or private) than it requires, which puts a lot of pressure on other institutions like AMU, Aligarh. It may be added here that even relatively low quality schools in Aligarh are getting large chunk of Bihari students.
Recent reports publicized by the government and other reliable agencies do testify that the remittance economy from the West Asian Gulf countries have created affordability to this section of population for modern education. They therefore are needed to be provided with such facilities. Moreover, according to experts, in Bihar, the reasons for relatively greater urge for modern education among Muslims is because of the fact that the largest chunk of the Muslims are grouped into the lists of Backward Castes (Annexure-2) and Most/Extremely Backward Castes (Annexure-1), since 1978, which facilitates the expanded opportunity of reservations in the government employment.
Be it the reports of the Bihar State Minorities Commission/ADRI (2005) or the Sachar Committee Report, it stands testified that education among Muslims of Bihar is relatively low; therefore the state-funding should be allocated more for such sections. If the Union Ministry of HRD is willing to give the AMU Rs 1200 crores for the purpose, a proportionate amount of the fund must be earmarked for West Bengal and Bihar, in that order. No other region would deserve it more than these two provinces.
By way of suggestion, it may also be proposed that the long standing Insaan School of Kishanganj, Bihar, may be requested to come forward in this exercise of having distant campuses of AMU. This particular institution [founded by Padam Shri, Syed Hasan], till 1980s, used to be a quality institution which has produced great luminaries like talented doctors, journalists and civil servants (some of them graduated from AMU itself). If the negotiation with the Insaan School materializes, then one great advantage with the AMU would be that it will not face the problem of procuring land as the Insaan School possesses sufficient land. We need not add that the 70% of the population of the district of Kishanganj comprises of Muslims, with painfully low degree of literacy. Of late, this historic institution has fallen into crises, it would therefore, be great if the recent exercise of AMU could rescue the institution from such crises.
If this negotiation fails to materialize then only we should explore other places in Bihar.
Greater preference should be given to opening Polytechnic (Diploma Engineering) and Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) type of employment oriented courses, besides the senior secondary schools (which would provide the feeder students to such courses), if possible.
It was great to learn that someone from the AMU itself has raised this voice, but this article falls short in doing justice to the headline. This is more a kind of suggestion that Bihar should also have such campus than a petition asking the authorities WHY NOT IN BIHAR?.
Also Dr Mohammad Sajjad, has not mentioned the plans in full, like the places identified for such campuses. If he gives more details, it can mobilise support to win a campus for Bihar, also Aligs alumni should be invited to join the call.
The fact that Federal Minister of State for HRD MAA Fatimi, a forer Alig who has played great role in maintaining AMU's minority status, can be pursued for the purpose.
Another point I would like to raise here that, a large number of students are from north Bihar, but the writer has advocated only Insaan School as the prospective campus.
Also, would like to know whether the University has any plan for offshore campus in the Gulf?
Hope Dr Sajjad would provide the details.
The Gulf Today