Aligarh Muslim University

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Aligarh Muslim University
अलीगढ़ मुस्लिम विश्वविद्यालय
The seal of the Aligarh Muslim University
Motto Arabic: عَلَّمَ الاِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَم
'allama'l-insāna mā lam ya'lam
Motto in English
Taught man what he knew not (Qur'an 96:5)
Established 1875 (as MAO College)
1920 (as AMU)
Type Public
Endowment $18.2 million[1]
Chancellor Mufaddal Saifuddin [2]
Vice-Chancellor Lt. General Zameerud-din Shah
Academic staff
Students 30,000
Location Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Campus Urban 467.6 hectares (1,155 acres)
Acronym AMU
Nickname AMU
Affiliations UGC, NAAC, AIU
Victoria Gate, a prominent building at the university
Kennedy House, museum (left); auditorium (right)
Bab-e-syed, the gateway to AMU
University canteen
SS Masjid beside Strachey Hall, AMU Aligarh

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a public university, funded by the central government of India is among the oldest central universities in India. It was established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.[3] The main campus of AMU is located in the city of Aligarh. Spread over 467.6 hectares in the city of Aligarh, AMU offers more than 300 courses in the traditional and modern branches of education. The University has consistently ranked among the best educational institutions in India. According to Times Higher Education, Asia Ranking 2014, AMU ranks 3rd among Universities in India.[4] The university comprises all castes, creeds, religions and genders.


It was established as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875–78,[5] The Anglo–Indian statesman Syed Ahmad Khan founded the predecessor of AMU, Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College ("MAO"), in 1877 having already established two schools.[6] He considered competence in English and "Western sciences" necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence, especially in Northern India. Khan's image for the college was based on his visit to Oxford and Cambridge and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model.[6] HH Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad and the Aga Khan III also played a major role in realising the idea of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan by collecting funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University[7]

In the beginning the college was affiliated with the University of Calcutta but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. Around 1900 efforts began to make the college its own university. Its range of courses was expanded and a girls school was added in 1907 before it became the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.[6] The university was designed to train Muslims for government service in India and prepare them for advanced training in British universities.

In 1927, a school for the blind was established and, the following year, a medical school was attached to the university. By the end of the 1930s, the university had developed an Engineering faculty. Syed Zafarul Hasan, joined the Aligarh Muslim University in early 1900s as head of Philosophy Department, dean Faculty of Arts. He was a pro-vice chancellor before his retirement.

Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement. After 1939, political sentiment shifted toward support for a Muslim separatist movement. University Students and faculty mobilised behind Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the University hence became an epicenter of Pakistan Movement.[8][9]


The college occupies over 467.6 hectares (1,155 acres) in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.

Organisation and Administration[edit]


The University maintains a number of Colleges, Institutes, Centres and Schools. Notably among them are Women's College, Centre of Professional Courses, Interdisciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology , Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College , Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad Dental College, Institute of Ophthalmology, Centre for Advanced Studies in History, Centre for Women Studies, Centre for Nehru Studies, University Polytechnic University, Women's Polytechnic, K.A. Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies, Schools including one for the visually challenged. [10]

Faculties and Departments[edit]

Aligarh Muslim University has 12 faculties[11] which include Faculty of Arts, the Department of Modern Indian languages[12] the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Technology, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Libraries and Museum[edit]

Main article: Maulana Azad Library

The university has a central library and over 100 departmental libraries. The Maulana Azad Library is the central library, which holds over 18,00,000 volumes of books, 59,272 current journals and 20,00,000 research papers in hard and soft copies. [13]

In late 2014 the university's vice-chancellor Zameerud-din Shah turned down a demand by female students to be allowed to use the Maulana Azad Library, which was male-only. Shah claimed that the issue was not one of discipline, but of space as if girls were allowed in the library there would be "four times more boys," putting a strain on the library's capacity.[14][15][16] Although there was a separate library for the university's Women's College, it was not as well-stocked as the Maulana Azad Library.[14] National human resource and development minister Smriti Irani decried Shah's defense as "an insult to daughters."[15]

Responding to a petition filed by a Human Rights Law Network intern, the Allahabad High Court ruled in November 2014 that the university's ban on female students from using the main library was unconstitutional, and that accommodations must be made to facilitate student use regardless of gender.[16][17] The High Court gave the university until November 24, 2014 to comply.[17]

Maulana Azad Library (viewed from Kennedy Lawns)

In addition to the University Library and its dependents, almost every faculty or department has a specialised library; for example, The Library of Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology established in 1938 with about 300 books now caters to the need of more than 2500 UG, PG students and research scholars apart from about 225 teaching Faculty. [18]

Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College has its own library popularly known as Faculty of Medicine Library. The Library came into existence in the year 1962. The Faculty Library consists of 14000 square feet covered area and caters to the information needs of approximately 2000 users of Faculty of Medicine. [19]

The faculty of social science established a Social Science Cyber Library which was inaugurated by the President of India on 27 December 2013.[20]

The University also operates a museum dedicated to its founder called the Sir Syed Academy Museum. [21]

Special Centres[edit]

Aligarh Muslim University has established three centres at Malappuram, (Kerala) [22]and Murshidabad, (West Bengal)[23] and Kishanganj, (Bihar) [24]while and a site has been identified for Aurangabad, (Maharashtra) centre.[25]

AMU Malappuram Centre, established in 2010 began functioning in February 2011 inaugurated by Kapil Sibal, the then Union Minister for Human Resource Development. He inaugurated the campus at Chelamala near Perinthalmanna with the commencement of MBA and B.A, LL.B (Hons) courses.[26][27]

The efforts of former Vice-Chancellor Prof. P K Abdul Azis paved the way for the creation of AMU centre Kishanganj and the Government of Bihar transferred 224 acres of land located at Chakla, Kishanganj to help building the campus of AMU Centre Kishanganj. The foundation stone of the campus was laid by Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA, on 30th January 2014. The Centre currently offers B.Ed. and MBA programs. [28]

AMU Murshidabad Centre campus was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 20th February 2014 in Jangipur, West Bengal. The Centre offers a five year B.A. LLB integrated course, MBA and B.Ed. with an aim to provide easy access to modern education to the educationally deprived section. [29]

Halls of Residence[edit]

Aligarh Muslim University is a residential University with most of the staff and students residing on the campus. A Hall of Residence is a cluster of hostels administered by a Provost and a number of teacher wardens who look after different hostels. Most of these hostels have adequate mess facilities, common rooms, canteen, and residential quarters for wardens.

In all there are 19 Halls of Residence including a Non-Resident Students Centre (NRSC). 13 Halls are for men with total intake capacity of about 7000 and 5 Halls are for Women with intake capacity of about 2700.[30]


On October 17, AMU celebrates the birth anniversary of its founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan with dinners for the inmates as well as for local students.[31]


In 2012, the university was ranked 5th by India Today.[32] In 2013, the University ranked 9th in the top 10 higher education institutions in India by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[33] In 2014, the University ranked 80th in top 100 higher education Institutes in Asia by the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings. [34] In 2015 the National Assessment and Accreditation Council rated the school 3.35/A.[35]


Muhammad Ali Jinnah's will, excerpt

The vice-chancellors of Aligarh Muslim University are:[36]

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of the university are popularly known as Aligarians (the more generic Aligarhiya is used to refer to inhabitants of Aligarh who have not studied at AMU.)[47]


  1. ^ "Aligarh Muslim University, BHU welcome budgetary allocations". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Aligarh Muslim University". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Academic Progression". Aligarh Muslim University. 
  5. ^ "Aligarh" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 267.
  6. ^ a b c "AMU History". Aligarh Muslim University. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Express Tribune. "To sir with love: Aga Khan III – a tireless advocate for female education". 
  8. ^ Mushirul Hasan, "Nationalist and Separatist Trends in Aligarh, 1915–47," Indian Economic and Social History Review, (January 1985) 22#1 pp 1–33
  9. ^ Zakir Ali Khan, an alumni of AMU, in an Interview with The Dawn, Pakistani newspaper[dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Faculties". Retrieved 2015-04-18. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b Eram Agha, Girls in AMU library will ‘attract’ boys: VC. The Times of India, November 11, 2014.
  15. ^ a b Irani slams AMU V-C over women in library remark. Hindustan Times, November 11, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Allow entry of girls inside library: Allahabad High Court to AMU. Deccan Chronicle, November 25, 2014.
  17. ^ a b India court library ban on women 'unconstitutional'. BBC News Online, November 14, 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "President of India inaugurates XXXVII Indian Social Science Congress". 27 December 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Classes begin at AMU centre". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 March 2011. 
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Back Where It Belongs: AMU at 5th spot on India Today Universities Rankings 2012". 18 May 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "India's top 10 higher education institutions". The World University Rankings. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ "5th Meeting of the Standing Committee (3rd March 2015): List of Institutions Recommended For Accreditation by NAAC (1st Cycle)" (PDF). National Assessment and Accreditation Council. 
  36. ^ "AUM VC's List – DeedahwarNewsViews". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  37. ^ Aligarh Movement. "H.H. Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad, Khan Bahadur, Raja Mahmudabad". Aligarh Movement. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Welcome to Basaha Estate". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  39. ^ abdullah (10 January 2012). "Former AMU Pro-Chancellor Passed Away | My AMU | Aligarh Muslim University – My Way". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ ":: Ziauddin University ::". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Abdul Azis VC of Aligarh Muslim varsity". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 19 May 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  44. ^ "Aligarh V-C's tenure ends". The Hindu (Aligarh). 18 January 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  45. ^ "Zameeruddin Shah is new Aligarh Muslim University vice-chancellor". Times of India. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  46. ^ "Naseeruddin Shah's brother appointed Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor". 11 May 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  47. ^ "Test for admission to courses in AMU centre". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 March 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Mushirul Hasan: "Nationalist and Separatist Trends in Aligarh, 1915–47" in Indian Economic and Social History Review (Jan 1985), Vol. 22 Issue 1, pp 1–33
  • Gail Minault and David Lelyveld: "The Campaign for a Muslim University 1898–1920" in Modern Asian Studies (March 1974) 8#2 pp 145–189

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°54′39″N 78°04′47″E / 27.9108°N 78.0797°E / 27.9108; 78.0797