President seal on AMU centre

New Delhi, Jan. 15: The much delayed centre of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in educationally backward and Muslim-dominated Kishanganj district in Bihar is set to be realised with President Pranab Mukherjee giving his approval for opening of the campus.

The President, who is the visitor of AMU, gave the permission last month, a top source told The Telegraph. Earlier in 2011, the university had asked for the President's consent for the proposed centre.

However, permission was delayed amid complications in getting the required land for the campus. The Bihar government has since provided 250 acres of land in Kishanganj.

The HRD ministry has communicated the President's permission and asked AMU to initiate the process of setting up of the permanent campus. The university authorities have written to the HRD ministry to provide funds to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed campus.

"We would need to prepare a DPR after which the construction activities will take place," said Prof. Javed Akhtar, the coordinator for all new centres of AMU.

The university has written to chief minister Nitish Kumar, requesting him to provide any existing infrastructure in Kishanganj to enable the proposed centre to commence its programmes from the temporary campus.

"We have not received any response from the Bihar government. If they provide some facility, the centre can start functioning from the coming academic session," Akhtar said.

AMU's centre in Kishanganj is seen as a major step to promote the education and economy of the backward region.

Former Union minister of state for HRD M.A.A. Fatmi said Muslims constitute 70 per cent of the population in Kishanganj. The district's literacy rate is barely 42 per cent while the literacy rate of women is just 20 per cent.

The university plans to focus on courses on teachers' training and diploma in technical courses to enable local students get jobs.

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