The Union HRD Ministry has led off the process to find a new Vice Chancellor for Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who will replace Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah. Shah, being a retired army officer does not fulfill the eligibility criteria as per the UGC Regulations 2010 which states that Vice Chancellor of any central university must be a distinguished academician with a teaching experience of at least 10 years.
However, Shah stated that he has sought the legal advice regarding the application of UGC Regulations 2010 on AMU, as he thinks it would imperil the minority status of the varsity. Although a bench at the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice J. S. Thakur and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said that being a central university, AMU is bound to adhere the UGC Regulations 2010.
Shah was appointed the VC of AMU in 2012 and has been a part of controversies since then. His appointment was challenged in the Allahabad High Court by Syed Abrar Ahmed, alumni of AMU, on grounds of the UGC Regulations but was ruled out by the Court in favor of Shah. The petitioner then challenged the verdict in the apex court.
Shah was also in news for suspending Mustafa Zaidi, secretary of Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA), for carrying out a protest against varsity administration and the VC.
The appointment process of VC in AMU is quite distinct. Five candidates for the post are shortlisted by AMU Executive Council which are further reduced to three by the AMU Court. The final selection is made by the President of India who is the Visitor to the University.
In its latest letter to AMU, the HRD ministry has asked the university to kick off the process of appointing a new VC adhering the UGC Regulations 2010 while the process is carried out. The ministry also added that the panel for the appointment should also be made as per the regulations.