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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dissent over posts, defective ads give rise to AMU’s RTI activism

Eram Agha, TNN | Aug 11, 2014, 10.10 PM IST

ALIGARH: Dissent over appointments, misleading advertisements for posts and action taken reports on fictitious claims has brought Aligarh Muslim University's culture of RTI activism to the fore. The culture has been on the rise as has been administrative arbitrariness, claim some AMU professors. 

Seasoned RTI activist and assistant professor in the business management department Mohd Naved Khan said, "There has been a rise despite the fact we have lost around 30% of our university's RTI activists due to fear of the administration. There are many reasons for it — we fight the system while staying in the system, which reacts by hitting back at us. The way it is perceived — as an act of causing harm — is wrong. Through RTI, we intend to set things right as that will make AMU better. Some have sided with the administration but activism is growing because now I have been motivating others to file RTIs to seek answers if they feel something is wrong." 

Professor Hasan Mateen-Ul-Islam from the statistics department said, "Some former RTI activists have now sided with administration for favours. Those with vested interests find it convenient to part ways." Islam had filed an RTI regarding an advertisement for the selection committee post. His query read: an Advertisement for Selection Committee post is defective (sic) because it does specify which department had the opening. Islam said he was still fighting the battle and will take it to legal action if need be. 

Assistant professor for the MBA course Asif Ali Syed showed TOI a copy of his RTI that sought a copy of the complaints filed against him. He said, "I was told that the administration has received complaints against me." The response to his query read: "In order to provide copies (of the complaints) you are required to deposit Rs 82 at the rate of Rs 2 per page for 41 pages. Syed said, "These complaints are coming out of pure imagination." 
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