AMU Vice Chancellor Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, and told him that the centres that the HRD ministry has called illegal were sanctioned by the president and government.
The vice-chancellor, who led a five member delegation, informed Modi about various research programmes going on in the Aligarh Muslim University including that on Ganga rejuvenation and agriculture technology.
He also told the prime minister that they have not been able to meet Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani despite several attempts, and have got an appointment for March 10, only the second meeting with her since she took charge.
"We told the prime minister that we are trying to meet the HRD minister since one and a half years, we could meet you twice, but with her, the first meeting was when she took charge, and the second meeting is scheduled for March 10," Shah told journalists after the meeting.
The AMU VC told the PM that the centres in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar that the minister has called illegal have been sanctioned by the government only.
"The stand of HRD minister that the centres are illegal was explained. We told the prime minister that all bodies of AMU have been sanctioned by president of India and government of India, so how can they be illegal," he said.
He said they questioned the difference in allocations to the university vis a vis other universities like Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
"We told him about the inequity of funds. Banaras Hindu University is the same as Aligarh Muslim University but they get Rs.100 crore more than us. Jamia Millia Islamia is half the size but it got Rs.689 crore more."
Shah said that they explained to the prime minister the ongoing programmes of the university which includes establishing modern education schools in Muslim majority areas.
"These will be secular schools, we don’t want ghettoisation of education. The schools will have 50 percent Muslims and will be given modern education," he said.
The VC also mentioned the bridge course being conducted by the university for Madrasa students to gear them up for modern education.
"These students are going to the Madrasas and telling them there is need for change," Shah said adding that religious education and modern education should go hand in hand.
He also informed the prime minister about the research work in the university, which includes one on cleaning river Ganga, one of the pet projects of the NDA government.
"Our scientists are involved in the project Ganga. We told the prime minister that the research is low investment, there will be no need for electricity. We are also working on Swachh Bharat (Mission). There is a technique being developed where a car battery can be charged in 20 minutes, patrol and diesel will not be needed. We are doing research in agriculture on a nano fertiliser that will not pollute the soil," he said.
Irani has maitained that the AMU off-campus centres have been established illegally and her ministry would not fund them.
In a meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, she asked him to take back the land allotted to the AMU centre.