03-MAR-2016: CLARIFICATION REGARDING MEETING OF SMT. SMRITI IRANI, HRD MINISTER WITH CHIEF MINISTER OF KERALA ON 08 JANUARY 2016 REGARDING AMU CENTRE AT MALAPPURAM (KERALA)
1. There have been several reports in the press and social media about a meeting with HRD Minister on 08 January 2016 regarding AMU Centres. It is regrettable that these leaked reports are meant to create controversy and tarnish AMU's image when it is engaged in efforts to maintain its minority character and existing status as the second best university of the country.
2. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Oommen Chandy, had invited me to attend a meeting scheduled with Smt. Smriti Irani, HRD Minister, in her office on 08 January 2016 at 10:30 a.m.
3. I reached the appointed place at 10:20 a.m. and was told by her secretary that HRD Minister was indisposed and the meeting was rescheduled at her residence. I reached the new location at about 11:30 a.m. and was escorted by Chief Minister Kerala's representative to the place of meeting. The same had already started and I did not attend. I will reserve further comments on this.
4. After the meeting the Chief Minister informed me that HRD Minister was adamant that the AMU Centres were illegally established and would not be funded by MHRD despite being told that the AMU Centres had been approved by the highest policy making-bodies, the AMU Executive Council and Court, Government of India and the Visitor (President of India).
5. The AMU Act 1920 (as amended) permits these centres. Section 12(2) of the Act reads "The University may also, with the sanction of the Visitor and subject to the Statutes and Ordinances, establish and maintain Institutions for research and instruction which are necessary for the furtherance of its objects, either on its own or in cooperation or collaboration with any other Institution".
6. It is apparent that a certain frustrated alumnus of AMU has wrongly informed the Minister, MHRD that the Centres have been established illegally. I am soon to meet the Hon'ble Prime Minister and I am confident that he will resolve all our problems.
7. With reference to the Media Reports I would like to add that it would take a lot to humiliate a veteran of the Longewala Battle of 1971, who spent the better part of his 40 years in the Army fighting insurgencies in Punjab and North East India and dousing communal passions in various riots.
Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah (Retd.)