Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
About Aligarh Muslim University
The university was established as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan , starting functioning on 24 May 1875. The movement associated with Syed Ahmad Khan and the college came to be known as the Aligarh Movement, which pushed to realise the need for establishing a modern education system for the Indian Muslim populace. He considered competence in English and Western sciences necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence. Khan's image for the college was based on his visit to Oxford University and Cambridge University, and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model. A committee was formed by the name of foundation of Muslim College and asked people to fund generously. Then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Thomas Baring gave a donation of ₹10,000 while the Lt. Governor of the North Western Provinces contributed ₹1,000, and by March 1874 funds for the college stood at ₹1,53,92 and 8 anas Maharao Raja Mahamdar Singh Mahamder Bahadur of Patiala contributed ₹58,000 while Raja Shambhu Narayan of Benaras donated ₹ 60. Donations also came in from the Maharaja of Vizianagaram also donated. The college was initially affiliated to he University of Calcutta for the matriculate examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885.
Establishment as university
Circa 1900, Muslim University Association was formed to spearhead efforts to transform the college into a university. The Government of India informed the association that a sum of rupees thirty lakhs should be collected to establish the university. Therefore, a Muslim University Foundation Committee was started and it collected the necessary funds. The contributions were made by Muslims as well as non-Muslims. Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan and Aga Khan III had helped in realising the idea by collecting funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University. With the MAO College as a nucleus, the Aligarh Muslim University was then established by the Aligarh Muslim University Act, 1920. In 1927, the Ahmadi School for the Visually Challenged, Aligarh Muslim University was established and in the following year, a medical school was attached to the university. The college of unani medicine, Ajmal Khan Tibbya College was established in 1927 with the Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College Hospital being established later in 1932. The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital was established later in 1962 as a part of the university. In 1935, the Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology was also established as a constituent of the university.Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement but after 1939, political sentiment shifted towards support for a Muslim separatist movement. Students and faculty members supported Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the university came to be a center of the Pakistan Movement.
Dr. Sheikh Abdullah ("Papa Mian") is the founder of the women's college of Aligarh Muslim University and had pressed for women's education, writing articles while also publishing a monthly women's magazine, Khatoon. To start the college for women, he had led a delegation to the Lt. Governor of the United Provinces while also writing a proposal to Sultan Jahan, Begum of Bhopal. Begum Jahan had allocated a grant of ₹ 100 per month for the education of women. On 19 October 1906, he successfully started a school for girls with five students and one teacher at a rented property in Aligarh. The foundation stone for the girls' hostel was laid by him and his wife, Waheed Jahan Begum ("Ala Bi") after struggles on 7 November 1911. Later, a high school was established in 1921, gaining the status of an intermediate college in 1922, finally becoming a constituent of the Aligarh Muslim University as an undergraduate college in 1937. Later, Dr. Abdullah's daughters also served as principals of the women's college. One of his daughters was Mumtaz Jahan Haider, during whose tenure as principal, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad had visited the university and offered a grant of ₹9,00,000. She was involved in the establishment of the Women's College, organised various extracurricular events, and reasserted the importance of education for Muslim women.In 2014, then vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah turned down a demand by female students to be allowed to use the Maulana Azad Library, which was males-only. Shah stated that the issue was not one of discipline, but of space as if girls were allowed in the library there would be "four times more boys", putting a strain on the library's capacity. Although there was a separate library for the university's Women's College, it was not as well-stocked as the Maulana Azad Library Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani decried Shah's defence as "an insult to daughters". Responding to a petition filed by Human Rights Law Network, the Allahabad High Court ruled in November 2014 that the university's ban on female students from using the library was unconstitutional, and that accommodations must be made to facilitate student's use regardless of gender. The Court gave the university time until 24 November 2014 to comply.
Minority institution status
Aligarh Muslim University is an institute of national importance, under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India. In 1967, a constitution bench of the Supreme Court had held that the university is not a minority educational institution protected under the Indian constitution; the verdict had been given in case to which the university was not a party. In 1981, an amendment was made to the Aligarh Muslim University Act, following which in 2006 the Allahabad High Court struck down the provision of the act which accorded the university minority educational institution status. In April 2016, the Indian government stated that it would not appeal against the decision. In February 2019, the issue was referred by the Supreme Court of India to a constitution bench of seven judges.