The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
On Reservation In AMU
The Aligarh Muslim University has decided to reserve 50 per cent of seats in post graduate courses for Muslim students. This is an inadvisable step. The Aligarh Muslim University is governed by an Act of parliament and has the status of a Central university like the other central universities. It is not proper to have reservation on religious lines for students in such an university. It is well known that there is a genuine problem of educational backwardness and the lack of educational facilities for the Muslim minority. The Constitution under Article 30 provides protection for minority educational institutions. Under this provision, as confirmed by the Supreme Court, there can be quotas for minority students.
The Aligarh Muslim University does not fall in this category, as it is not a minority institution. When the Aligarh Muslim University Act was amended in 1981, the status of the university was clarified. The Act provides under section 8 that “admission should be open to all irrespective of faith keeping in mind the tradition of the university”. It is true that under section 5 of the Act the university is empowered to promote the educational and cultural advancement of the Muslims. This can be fulfilled by adopting measures other than reservation.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) wishes to emphasise that the problems of providing modern education to the Muslim minorities must be taken up seriously and the Central Government has a commitment to do so. The Polit Bureau does not want this genuine issue to be given a communal turn by vested interests.