Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh Muslim University Entrance Gate.Haris H Khan/Wikimedia Commons

A University Grants Commission (UGC) committee set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development has reportedly asked the Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University to omit 'Muslim' and 'Hindu' words from their names.

The UGC committee, in its audit report, clearly states that words in connection with a religion do not reflect the secular character of the universities.

"The Aligarh or Banaras university(s) can be named after their founders instead," a panel member said.

Since the universities are centrally funded, they are secular institutions, the panel said. 

The committee is one of the five committees set up by UGC on April 25 this year to look into the irregularities of 10 central universities across the country.

The audit report further noted that AMU possesses no national character and promoted 'inbreeding'. However, AMU authorities had disputed the claim and said students from 29 states study in the reputed institution.

The varsity also opposed UGC's suggestion to drop religious words from its name.

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Banaras Hindu UniversityCreative commons

"The university's 60:40 ratio of Muslim and non-Muslim students was not a designed pattern but due to a large number of courses like Arabic, Urdu and Farsi for which only Muslim students apply," said Tariq Mansoor, the Vice Chancellor of AMU.

University of Rajasthan, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, Maharashtra, Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh, University of Tripura. Pondicherry University and Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand are the other universities to audited by the UGC panels.