Govt seeks AMU's explanation over denying library access to UG
New Delhi/Aligarh: Government today sought an explanation from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) over not allowing access to women undergraduates to the main library in the campus, with HRD Miniser Smriti Irani saying it amounted to an "insult to daughters".
The AMU, which was at the centre of a controversy over the restriction for women undergraduates, cited space constraints and refuted the charge of having a "sexist approach".
Taking serious note of it, Human Resource Ministry sought explanation from the AMU Vice Chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah with Irani asserting that education and constitution rights were same for all.
"...There are some reports which hurt you as a woman and also agitates you that when we attained freedom there was a belief that education and constitution rights were same for all....And now we get reports that amounts to insult to daughters," Irani said on the sidelines of a function in Delhi.
Facing flak, the Vice Chancellor gave the explanation that undergraduate girl students studying at the off-campus Women's College do not have access to facilities of the Maulana Azad Library since it was established in 1960 and there was "no fresh ban".
He said there over 4,000 female undergraduates and the library cannot accomodate them due to space constraints.
His remarks that there would be "more boys" in the library if girls were allowed in drew sharp reactions from several political leaders, activists and students.
Shah noted that all postgraduate girls and women research scholars "have been enjoying round the clock access to the Maulana Azad Library since its inception" and rejected allegations of gender bias, terming them "not only erroneous but mischievous and defamatory".