Minority quota in 50-yr-old B.Ed. course at Shibli College of Azamgarh facing official hurdles

By Salman Sultan, TwoCircles.net Special Correspondent,

Azamgarh: Shibli National College, Azamgarh, a premier minority institution in North India was established as National School in the year 1883 by the great oriental Scholar and Nationalist Allama Shibli Nomani. It was the vision of Principal (Late Shaukat Sultan) and College Management that B.Ed. classes were started in 1959. As 50% of the seats (100) were reserved for the minority community, the college was producing trained Muslim teachers in good number every year. But three years ago some official hurdles were created to block this flow of Muslim teachers, and consequently the college has not been able to run the B.Ed. classes since the 2007-2008 academic sessions.

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Mrs. Nasreen Ahmad, Head, Department of Education said that in the beginning Shibli National Degree College was affiliated to Agra University and the College controlled the admission. In the beginning intake of students was in the teacher-student ratio of 1: 10 but when the College got affiliated to Gorakhpur University the ratio was enhanced to 1: 15 (1972-73) and it remained so even when the College (now Postgraduate) was affiliated to Purvanchal University, Jaunpur (1989). Later on, P.U. reduced the intake to 1: 10.

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmad, Principal told that as per 1995 G.O. College was empowered to take 50% admission to B.Ed. classes through test. The V.C., P.U., in order to maintain standard, was advised to send its nominee as an observer. Thereafter evaluation of answer sheets was done in presence of V.C. nominee and a list of 50 minority students were prepared duly signed by the Principal and V.C. In 2007-08 Kanpur University was asked by P.U. to conduct admission test in a single window system. As there was no specific order we conducted our own admission test in order to select 50% students (minority) and went to the V.C seeking an observer for evaluation. A deputy registrar of P.U. looking after B.Ed showed extra ordinary interest in seeking clarification from U.P. government. U.P. government sent an order, which was actually meant for self-financed Colleges though it was addressed to us. A 15% NRI quota was also given to us by Kanpur University, which, in fact, is given to self-financed Colleges. In 2008-09 Agra University conducted the test and given us only 50 seats. As selection process got delayed this session was declared as zero session.

Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi, Chairman U.P. Minority Commission was invited on 31st October 2009 in a function organized by Old Boys Association of Jamiatul Falah, Bilariyaganj (Azamgarh). On the invitation of College Principal, Mr. S.M.A. S.M.A. Kazmi briefly halted in the College on his way back to Lucknow in the afternoon. Principal discussed with him the problem faced in admission of minority students in B.Ed course and apprised him of the futility of accepting 50% minority students selected through a single window system. He argued that Department of Education was established to provide employment opportunities to Muslim minority of the region and therefore, College should be allowed to have a say in the admission of 50% minority students. Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi patiently listened to the grievances and assured him of an affirmative action. Principal gave copies of letters sent to C.M. and others in this regard to Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi.

As per news item in Urdu newspaper a letter has been sent by Mr. S.M.A Kazmi to the Secretary Higher Education seeking a report in 15 days.

Isabella Thoburn (IT) College, Lucknow, a constituent College of Lucknow University (as per Lucknow University Act 1921) is imparting B.Ed course since 1954. In 1987 State government framed U.P. State Universities (Regulation of Admission to Courses of Instruction for Degree in Education in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent Colleges) order. After this “order 1987” Lucknow University restrained I.T. College from holding Entrance test for admitting students. Committee of Management of I.T. College assailed action of Lucknow University by filing a writ petition no. 4530 of 1989 and a division bench of High Court passed an order dated 10.07.1987 allowing I.T. College to admit members of the minority community (whose interest they cater) on priority basis. Since then I.T. College was admitting students of minority community every year. On 7.8.1995 govt. issued G.O. no. 1310/1511-95-3(101)/92. As per G.O. a Committee will be constituted in every minority institution comprising of a representative of the University to be nominated by the V.C., Principal of the Minority Institution, a representative of Higher Education Department not below the rank of Higher Education Officer. This Committee was to lay down guidelines to maintain standard in University Institutions. In the G.O it was also mentioned that the same (guidelines) is being issued pursuant to the direction issued by S.C. in its order dater 6.12.1991 passed in writ petition no. 1868 of 1980 and 13213 of 1984.

I.T. College was, however, restrained to declare result for entrance test for admission to B.Ed course by Committee for Fairness and Transparency in Admission Procedure of Technical, Medical and Other Professional Courses (in short “Fairness Committee”) through its order dated 13.4.2007. Further by its order-dated 22.5.2007 Farness Committee held that I.T. College is not a minority institution. I.T. College filed a writ petition no. 2907 (2007) in the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad sitting at Lucknow. Honourable High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the order dated 22.5.2007 passed by opposite party no. 2 (“Fairness Committee”).