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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Indian row over Muslim university
Aligarh Muslim University
Controversy regarding the university's status is not new
Opposition parties in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have welcomed a court order stripping one of its oldest universities of its privileges.

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was granted special status as a minority institution by parliament in 1981.

The high court in Allahabad City said the act was illegal and it could no longer reserve seats for Muslims.

The state's governing party responded by calling for a debate in Delhi on protecting the AMU's status.

It was initially set up as a school but became a university in 1920.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said the court had upheld its stand against what they called a communal quota system.

But the governing Samajwadi Party said the federal government should now convene a special session of parliament on the issue.

The court also ruled as illegal a notification issued by the Congress-led federal government in February allowing the AMU to reserve 50% of its seats in post graduate studies for Muslims.

Congress has been accused by its opponents in the past of appeasing minorities, a charge the party rejects.

India university closes
08 Nov 98 |  South Asia

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