Aligarh: Protesting students of M Phil, who have been sitting on 'dharna' for last ten days seeking exemption from admission test for different PhD courses at Aligarh Muslim University, have threatened to intensify their stir from Tuesday.

In view of the continuing standoff between the protesters and the University authorities, security arrangements at the campus have been tightened.

Vice-president Mohammad Hamid Ansari is scheduled to visit the AMU campus on September 24 and the district and University administration are trying to ensure that no untoward happening takes place at the campus.

Spokesman of the protesting students, Afaq Ahmad, on Monday told newspersons that he would be starting an "indefinite hunger strike" against the alleged "irregularities and the high handed behavior of the University authorities".

Afaq showed copies of earlier orders issued by the university, exempting M Phil students from appearing in admission tests in different doctoral courses.

He claimed, "all Central Universities have provided exemption to M Phil students in view of the fact that they have already gone through the process of appearing in an admission test while seeking admission to the course".

The protesters said they have also written a letter to the President of India, who is also the Visitor of the University, claiming, "by depriving AMU students of securing admission in the doctoral courses by applying certain eligibility criteria, the University authorities were providing a deterrent for higher education."

However, a spokesman of the AMU, while indirectly admitting that the University had earlier exempted students from appearing in the admission tests for doctoral courses, asserted, that the earlier exemption was "incorrect".

The spokesman said this earlier exemption was in "violation of the University ordinances and once this matter came to light, we had to reverse our earlier decision".

It was wrong to allege that the University was trying to discourage these admission seekers and with this objective "the University had on Sunday issued a notification asking students to appear in a special PhD admission test to be conducted in October," the University spokesman said.

The spokesman said this step would enable the students to pursue their academic careers "without any loss in their academic calendar".

He said "the University cannot exempt any student from appearing in the PhD admission test because of the legal ramifications" following recent decision of the Allahabad High Court in a case pertaining to a similar matter.


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