Another invite row: AMU VC denies inviting PM Modi for convocation

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2015,17:46 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Aligarh | Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah today said that his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi was solely for the purpose of ensuring funds for different development projects of the university.
Shah said that reports suggesting that his meeting with the Prime Minister was to invite him for the university’s next convocation, is mere speculation and entirely baseless. The question of inviting the PM was not even raised. Therefore, any media report suggesting that I had gone with the purpose of inviting the PM is entirely speculative.
I met the Prime Minister solely to apprise him about the inequitable funding for AMU, when compared to several other central universities, he said. The Vice Chancellor clarified that any invitation to the PM involved a large responsibility and before taking any such decision, he would not only have to consult various bodies of the university but also different organisations representing teachers and students.
He added that he was not interested in stoking any controversy at the campus by indulging in any divisive issues whatsoever. Ever since an AMU-based youth organisation aired a suggestion earlier this month for inviting the PM to the campus, speculation has been rife about Modi’s arrival here.
Interestingly, only two PMs of the country have addressed convocation ceremonies at AMU. In 1948, the then PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and in 1964, PM Lal Bahadur Shastri delivered the convocation addresses at the university.
On the shortage of funds for several projects in the campus, the AMU VC said that the university was falling short of funds for construction projects at its three off-campus centres in Kerala, West Bengal and Bihar.
The VC said that the AMU had earlier been involved in some important environmental projects under Ganga cleaning programme and he had conveyed the enthusiasm of the university’s scientific community in environmental issues, solar energy and nanotechnology, to the PM.
Shah claimed that the PM responded favourably to all issues raised by him.