Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and
Consultant International Central
Theoretical Physics, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Prof.
Abul Hasan Siddiqi was recently in Oman. In an exclusively interview
with Jawaid Badauni, an Aligarian of 1965-69 who is currently
in Oman and who also moderates AligarhNetwork tracking the
day-to-day activities at AMU and other Muslim issues,
spoke on various
issues relating to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
sharing his views on various issues, the former PVC appreciated the
establishment of AMU off-campus centers in various states of the
What are the powers and responsibilities of a PVC and do you think a
university like AMU must always have someone as its Pro.
Prof. Siddiqi: There are hardly any powers assigned directly
to PVC by the constitution. A PVC gets such powers from his
Vice-Chancellor. Normally, Pro Vice Chancellor is delegated the
powers to look after schools or some faculties and to handle matters
like leave of teachers, staff members etc. Of course, AMU must have
Pro. Vice-Chancellor. I feel a university like AMU should have three
Pro. Vice chancellors instead of one, each one of them to look after
academic, financial and administrative matters. This will relieve
Vice-Chancellor from the burden of work and will spare his time to
concentrate on major issues.
During your tenure as PVC, were there any instances of a difference
of opinion between you and your Vic-Chancellor? How did you sort out
such matters where your opinion was different from that of the VC?
Prof. Siddiqi: Of course, on many occasions it happened to be
so. The ultimate decision was to be taken by VC. I remember on one
occasion, the Vice chancellor wanted his controller of exams to
become a member of Executive Committee. I opposed the idea but the
VC did not heed to me. The lady was appointed a member of EC and the
entire EC objected to this decision. Many a times and oft, I had a
different opinion and used to stick to my view. I remember I had
once suggested my VC to examine the records of those considered to
be appointed as Provosts of various halls of residence.
Sir! Do you feel the present system of appointing a Vice
Chancellor in AMU is absolutely perfect or you suggest some changes
in the present procedure of appointing VC?
Prof. Siddiqi: I strongly feel that the existing system of
appointing VC needs lot of modification.
Would you like to make any general comment on some recent
Vice-Chancellors of AMU?
Prof. Siddiqi: Vice Chancellors of the yesteryears used to
respect senior members in all faculties. Unfortunately, the trend
has changed now as VCs in the recent past were not least interested
in interacting with the senior faculty members.
Prof. Siddiqi! Are you fully satisfied with the present
academic standard of AMU?
Prof. Siddiqi: of course, I am not. There is a need to
identify those who are really competent and keen enough to complete
their research work. There should be a research center and a post of
a common Dean be created for post graduate studies and research.
Going down the memory lane, we shall find some of the Pro. Vice
Chancellors in AMU were exactly doing this type of job to act like a
Dean of research. Remember, a University is always recognized on the
strength of quality of research and published work.
Do you appreciate the idea of AMU establishing campus in
various parts of the country?
Prof. Siddiqi: Yes, of course. In fact we had started working
on establishing as many as a dozen such campuses. For, only one AMU
was never sufficient to fulfill the needs of the Muslim Community
which is backward throughout the country.
Any comment on students-Administration relations in AMU and the ever
increasing interference of district police in AMU campus?
Prof. Siddiqi: Of course, there should be a good
understanding and amicable relations between the students and
authorities. I am against police interference in AMU matters.
However, in such circumstance when there is an emergency and some
sort of crises are to be controlled, the police action cannot be
What are your views about restoring Students Union in AMU?
Prof. Siddiqi: There should be a proper students Union to
make representation of students and to follow with authorities about
the grievances of common students.
Can Wardens and Provosts of the halls of residence play an important
role in improving the over all atmosphere in AMU and are they really
justifying their choice in the recent days?
Prof. Siddiqi: Of course
their role is important. Unfortunately, most of the present Wardens
or Provosts are not truly interest in their job. These are not
highly paid positions but they simply accept them to avail a certain
facilities attached with these position.