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CUET won’t take away your “power to admit students of its choice”, says Education Ministry to AMU

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The Union ministry of education has conveyed to the Aligarh Muslim Univesity (AMU) that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will not take away its “power to admit students of its choice” as per the existing university norms, officials said on Sunday. The University had last month written to the education ministry expressing concerns over CUET as the case on its minority status is subjudice. Under Article 30 of the constitution, all minorities, whether based on religion or language, have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice. In continuation of that, AMU reserves 50% seats for students of university recognised schools in various undergraduate courses.

However, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on March 21 announced that the CUET will be mandatory for all central universities for undergraduate admissions. The computer based test will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in the first week of July in 13 languages.

According to officials at the University, the ministry of education on March 15 wrote a letter to the vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor stating that the subjudice matter “does not bar AMU from participating in any test for selection of candidates.” “It is mentioned that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is in no way going to take away the inherent power of AMU to admit students of its choice, and as per existing eligibility condition/quota rules of the university. The interim order mentioned in your letter also does not bar AMU from participating in any test for selection of candidates as the order is mainly applicable for admission in the context of reservation quota which is not to be affected as the university will follow its own rules, regulations, eligibility condition and quota,” the ministry said in the letter.

The ministry said that those students of university-recognised “Madaris/institutions” who are eligible to take admission in UG course AMU will continue to be eligible. “CUET will be used only for making merit lists of applicants by the University itself. The CUET is to focus mainly on the undergraduate admissions like B.A, B.Sc, B.Com; the university will continue with its existing practices in other technical admissions (engineering/management, etc.), as well as postgraduate admissions,” the letter added.

The ministry said that the NTA will retain only 10% of the income from application fee over expenditure for maintaining administrative cost and the rest will be shared with the universities. “It will be further ensured that the loss of internal revenue, if any, to the universities due to CUET will be adequately accounted for in future allocation of funds under OH 31,” the letter added.

A senior official at the University, who wished not to be named, said, “The ministry’s letter will be placed before the executive council of the university for further discussion.In all likelihood, AMU will participate in CUET since it is now mandatory for all central universities.” In 2005, the Allahabad High Court ruled that AMU was not a minority institution. The University appealed against the order of the single judge bench, but the appeal was also dismissed. In 2006, the Supreme Court granted status quo to AMU. In January 2016, the NDA government reversed its earlier position and stated that AMU was not a minority institution as it was set up by an Act of Parliament. The case is pending in the Supreme Court.



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