The Indian Army gifted a T-55 battle tank to Rampur’s Mohammad Ali Jauhar University (MAJU). Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Azam Khan is the Chancellor and founder of the University.
At a ceremony held in the University campus on Tuesday, 23 January, Lieutenant General Harish Thukral, General Officer Commanding, Uttar Bharat Area, presented the Soviet-era tank to Azam Khan, who accepted it on behalf of the university.
In 2017, Khan had requested the Army to gift a tank to his University. Army chief General Bipin Rawat had reportedly accepted the request and sent the tank from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra to Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.
According to reports, the tank participated in the famous Battle of Basantar in the 1971 Indo-Pak War. Inducted in 1968 into the Indian Army, the T-55 tanks were in use till 2011.
The 36 tonne T-55 is equipped with a 100 mm calibre gun and two 7.62 calibre machine guns and one 2.7 mm anti-aircraft gun. The modified T-55 is also enabled with night vision and protection from nuclear, biological and chemical explosions.
The T-55 is world’s most widely used tank and is still in service in many countries.
Khan told Lt Gen Thukral that the tank will be an important landmark in the University. The Army believes that the tank will encourage students to join the Army.
The Army said that Khan assured the GOC that the tank will be kept in shipshape condition as a mark of reverence and respect for Indian Army.
According to TOI, Khan now wants to IAF aircraft in the campus so that students can draw inspiration to join the armed forces.
Several obsolete tanks have been issued to government organisations and educational institutions around the country by the Army since 2013.