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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Naima Khatoon appointed AMU VC, first woman to be appointed to post in over 100 years

Khatoon's appointment was made by the Ministry of Education (MoE) after receiving approval from President Droupadi Murmu, who is Visitor to the University, officials said on Monday

PTI Aligarh Published 22.04.24, 11:20 PM
Aligarh Muslim University.

Aligarh Muslim University. File Photo

Naima Khatoon has been appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), making her the first woman to hold the top post in over 100 years.

Khatoon's appointment was made by the Ministry of Education (MoE) after receiving approval from President Droupadi Murmu, who is Visitor to the University, officials said on Monday.

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Permission was also sought from the Election Commission of India (ECI) in view of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being in place, they said.

"Naima Khatoon, Principal, Women's College, has been appointed as the Vice Chancellor of AMU for a period of five years. The ECI has stated that the commission has no objection from the MCC angle to the proposal related to the appointment of the AMU VC subject to the condition that no political mileage be derived from it," a senior official said.

Khatoon, who completed her PhD in psychology from AMU, was appointed as a lecturer in the same department in 1988 before being elevated as professor in 2006. She continued there before being appointed as the principal of the Women's College in 2014.

Founded in 1875, Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College became AMU in 1920, following the enactment of the Aligarh Muslim University Act.

In September 2020, AMU completed 100 years as a university, becoming one of the oldest universities in India. The university has had no woman vice chancellor so far.

In 1920, Begum Sultan Jahan was appointed as the AMU chancellor. She continues to be the only woman to have held the post.

Khatoon's husband, Professor Mohammad Gulrez, was appointed as the Acting Vice Chancellor of AMU last year after the then VC Tariq Mansoor resigned from the post following his nomination as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.

Khatoon being among the shortlisted candidates for the top post had triggered a controversy in October last year with a section of university officials alleging conflict of interest.

On October 30, 2023, the 27-member Executive Council (EC), AMU's highest decision-making body, shortlisted five of the 20 eligible applicants. There were a total of 36 applicants for the post of VC.

In a letter to President Murmu, Mujahid Beg, one of the 36 applicants whose name was not picked by the EC, had called for setting aside the panel and "re-initiate the process afresh".

"Surprisingly, the VC not only chaired the meeting of the EC but also voted for his wife. Another blow to free and fair elections... The VC did not declare his impartiality in respect of the candidates, so as to dispel any justifiable doubt about his independence and the impartiality of the proceedings, as his own wife is one of the candidates staking her claim for the post of Vice-Chancellor," Beg had said.

Apart from Khatoon, the other names recommended by the EC were legal scholar and former VC of NALSAR University Faizan Mustafa, biochemist and VC of Srinagar's Cluster University Qayyum Husain, noted cardiologist and AMU professor M U Rabbani, and Jamia Millia Islamia University professor Furqan Qamar.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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