Some out of the box thinking about AMU

By Omar Peerzada,

The issues and what can be done:

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The University (College) has been functioning since 1920 (1876) and there has been hardly any change in its style of functioning and attitudes. The modern world has changed drastically and unless and until AMU regenerates itself it would be left behind. AMU alone may not be alone in this predicament since most of the traditional universities in Northern India are suffering from the same ennui and obsolescence.

The ‘total educational’ system that was established at AMU by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and later modified in the early decades of the twentieth century produced some remarkable people over the years. The University was famous for and stood for certain concepts and ideas that had served it well. However with the passage of time and fast changing nature of the modern world the systematic deterioration and obsolescence in the ideas, concepts and relevant issues of the community have hurt it most.
It is high time that the University rejuvenate and take measures to modernise itself not only in ideas and concepts but in infrastructure, facilities and attitudes.

It is unnecessarily running Nursery, Primary, and Secondary schools. It may be advisable to separate them and put them under a different administration. The schools distract serious educational requirements of higher education.

Somehow getting into Civil Services is considered to be the Mecca of achievement. No doubt to be in administrative is a great achievement , but making it a dream theme is not called for, we need to get rid of this mentality and concentrate on producing Professionals in Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management and Sciences and highly qualified Graduates in all endeavours.


AMU has some very active and good Faculties populated by energetic and vibrant staff members. I have always said that the University has people who can take any idea work on it and succeed. What they lack is encouragement, funds, support and community and nation building projects and ideas. Given a push I am confident that they will do well.


Revive AMU — culture and Old values

o Tahzeeb and etiquette – AMU was known for and was proud of this heritage.
o Democratic functioning of Student activities – major strength of AMU earlier.
o Inter-Disciplinary approach and cross-migration making a flexible system.
o Disciplinary attitudes and Accountability.
o Over crowding in Halls– too many students stay in very crowded Halls.


o Though AMU had some very outstanding Professors in various fields of Arts and Sciences, intolerable level of inbreeding has led to sycophancy, undue favours and possible deterioration of standards.
o It is necessary for the younger faculty to be trained in Pedagogy. It has always been assumed that once a person does a Masters course he is fit to be teacher. In the changing world requirements of a good teacher has changed drastically and hence the requirement.
o It is also no denying the fact that there are subjects of study that are so unique to AMU and it is very difficult to induct teachers from outside the university in those areas.


o Make AMU a Modern University in all senses
Revamp the curricula and syllabi and make education more serious.
o Total interactive Information systems for the whole University including all Faculties and Administration. Students’ profile, Teachers’ profile and all other employees’ profile must be made available, and if necessary separate facility with computers, software and building with suitable staff be created.
o Number of days of Instruction per semester; cut holidays, schedules fixed
Semester system even in Arts and Science Faculties if already not done.
o Number of hours of functioning – 8 hours a day; 40 hours a weak Decoupling of Faculties for examination purposes; decentralise Faculty-wise
Reports and Assignments should be an Integral part of teaching.
o Wide use of Computers for submitting reports and assignments Attendance of students – norms to be followed Emphasis on Post Graduate including Ph D education should be increased
Introduce Newer Disciplines and Courses particularly at the Masters level. Some examples are as follows:
a. Film and Visual Studies

b. Creative Writing

c. Multi-media

d. Film and Visual Studies

f. School of Biology– Neuroscience, Evolutionary, Microbiology etc.

g. Systems Biology

h. School of Comparative Religions

i. School of Religious Philosophies – Sufism, Salafism, Bhakti, Yoga etc

j. Energy Resources Eng

l. School of Communication

m. School of Genetics

n. Human Computer Interaction

o. Innovative Manufacturing

q. Comparative Medicine

r. Archaeology


o Have a total Wi Fi system and Broadband connectivity of computers in all Departments and Halls including rooms and total Administration. Wired wherever unavoidable.
o Build Halls of Residence to reduce the overcrowding.
o Power backup.
o Renovate the Medical College building for example and some ‘heritage’ Halls.
o Build proper buildings for departments that are not housed properly.
o Major Equipment and Facilities overhaul in the Science, Engineering and Medical Faculties discarding old and obsolete equipment and ideas.
o Modernise (or it is doomed to be mediocre college)


o Introduce Computer literacy courses for all students
o De-couple School system from University – have separate Admin for schools
o Emphasis on Continuing Education
o Also concentrate on Distance Education through various modern techniques.
o De-couple 3 year Engineering Diploma courses from Degree courses.
o Certificate courses and short term courses may all be put under Continuing and Distance Education facilities.
o Overhaul the messing system in the Halls of residence. Messing in the Dining Halls provided should be compulsory for the residents, Modernise the Kitchens.
o Open a Shopping Centre inside the University premises and have good canteens and restaurant inside it.

(The author is Convenor, Aligarh Movement Foundation, Gen. Sec., Aaghaz Foundation and Jt. Sec., AMUOBA Lucknow Chapter. He can be contacted at

Email: [email protected], Cell no.9839191045)