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AMU Students Protest Removal of Indo-Islamic Questions from Entrance Exam

16 May 2024: The students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) recently held protests on campus demanding the reinstatement of questions related to Indo-Islamic culture in the entrance exam syllabus. The university’s assistant proctor, Syed Ali Nawaz Zaidi, clarified on Saturday that many general students take the university’s entrance exam, and they find it challenging to answer questions specific to Islam.

Zaidi explained that AMU’s revision committee, established by the academic council, recommended removing these questions in March, prior to the appointment of the new vice-chancellor (VC), Naima Khatoon, on April 22. Before Khatoon took office, her husband, Muhammad Gulrez, served as the acting VC of the university.

The protests erupted after questions on Indo-Islamic culture, a longstanding feature of AMU’s entrance tests, were excluded from the recent Class 11 entrance exam.

Janib Hassan, a student leader and AMU alumnus, expressed discontent, stating, “There used to be 10 questions on Indo-Islamic culture. AMU has now abandoned all such questions. This decision is not good for this traditional university.”

On Saturday, tensions escalated on campus as several students, attempting to meet the VC regarding the issue, were allegedly stopped and mishandled by the university’s security personnel. The students chanted slogans against the authorities and demanded the reversal of the exam paper decision.

PhD student Mohammad Gyasuddin stated, “We raised our strong objections to the removal of Islamic questions from the entrance exam syllabus. We were trying to meet the VC to discuss the issue but were forcefully stopped. Later, we received a call from the authorities saying our demand will be looked into.”

On Thursday, the students submitted a memorandum to AMU authorities with a “15-point demand,” including the reinstatement of Indo-Islamic questions in the entrance test syllabus and the announcement of student union elections. They also held a procession from the Department of Foreign Languages to Bab-e-Syed Gate.

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