The varsity has written to PM that it will share water recycling techniques to help the govt achieve the target of cleaning the major river in 5 years
Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Zameer Uddin Shah, says he stands by his decision to not let girls into the library
dna Research & Archives
A month after Aligarh Muslim University’s vice chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah came under attack over his controversial remark on banning the undergraduate girls to a varsity library, in an exclusive interview with dna said he says he stands by his decision. The retired Lieutenant General also adds that he was not a fundamentalist as projected by media, and that he would prefer to teach History over mythology at the university.Q: Your comment on banning women from using Maulana Azad Library stirred a controversy. What made you take such a stand?First of all, let me tell you that I was completely misquoted. But there was nothing wrong in my decision. Girls at Miranda House in Delhi are not allowed to use the University library. The under graduates at Mumbai University do not have access to the Ratan Tata Library, so where was I wrong in not allowing the under graduate girls to use the University library. They have their own library. The matter was blown out of proportion because it was a Muslim University. Had a similar thing happened at Banaras Hindu University, the reaction would not have been the same. While the High Court has passed an order and girls are now allowed access to the library, I still stand by my decision.Q: Has the incident made you unpopular on campus?Certainly, I am more unpopular. I want everyone to adhere to rules. I insist teachers and students to be punctual and demand more discipline on campus. That makes me unpopular.Q: There have been cases, where head of institutions have been forced to succumb to pressures by MHRD. First DU’s VC Dinesh Singh, then NCERT Director Pravin Silclair and then IIT- D, Director R Sevagaonkar. Have you faced any kind of interference by MHRD?So far no. And I don’t think I will give into any kind of pressures. The government might have its own priorities, but I am here to revive the university. No such pressures should be allowed to victimise the university. I have my reservations against the government policies. I am not in favor of the Common Entrance Test system. I have opposed the proposed Common Central University Act and the Ombudsman in the university administration. I have spoken against these issues on all forums. The fear that the MHRD might act against me, doesn’t stop me from voicing my opinion.Q: You mentioned that you want to revive the university. What kind of revival do we expect?In the 1950’s and 60’s we were the leading university in India. But then came the downfall. We want to bring back the lost glory of AMU. By 2017, we want AMU to be a leader in research. We have initiated the process of reviving Unani, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and History learning. These sectors so far have been neglected. By 2020, we want AMU to be in the top 200 universities of the world. We will give this country the second Green Revolution very soon.Q: A section in the BJP is already re-writing the History. Are you working in coordination with them?We don’t intend to write and teach mythology. We want to teach History whether it is do with Hindus or the Mughals. We are open to any form of History that is true. But we will continue to guard the facts.Q: What is this second Green Revolution you just mentioned?The Nano Technology Department of AMU has developed preservatives and fertilizers that can preserve fruits and vegetables for three to four months. The human testing of the product is on. If it passes the test, the farmers will be able to sell their mangoes in winters. Thirty percent of fruits and vegetables get wasted due to rotting. Our Nano tech formula will increase the shelf life of these perishables. We have already applied for a patent and will share the formula with the country soon after we clear the tests.Q: The university is also working on water recycling, e- waste management. Are you also taking your other innovations to the next level?Yes, we want to be a part of Clean Ganga campaign. I have sent my proposal to prime minister, that AMU wants to be a part of the cleaning drive. I am told that our proposal is under consideration. We are looking forward to share our water recycling and waste disposal techniques with others.