AMU’s First Woman V-C: Controversy Surrounds Selection Process

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The prestigious Women’s College principal has been shortlisted for the position of Vice Chancellor at the university, with the potential to become the first female V-C. However, concerns have been raised about the selection process due to her husband chairing the meeting that included her in the list.

On October 30, the 27-member Executive Council (EC) chose five names out of 20 eligible candidates for the V-C position, out of a total of 36 applicants.

Among the five shortlisted candidates is Naima Khatoon Gulrez, a PhD holder in psychology from AMU who has been serving as principal of the Women’s College since 2014.

The other names recommended by the EC include legal scholar Faizan Mustafa, biochemist Qayyum Husain, cardiologist M U Rabbani, and management professor Furqan Qamar.

Of the 27 EC members, 20 attended the meeting on October 30, with 19, including the acting V-C, voting for the candidates. Mustafa received nine votes, while Khatoon and Husain each received eight votes, and Rabbani and Qamar received seven votes each.

The shortlist of five candidates was then sent to the AMU Court, a body of 193 members that will further narrow it down to three candidates before sending it to the President of India for the final selection.

During the EC meeting, one member suggested that the acting V-C abstain from voting due to his wife being a candidate, but he claimed there was no conflict of interest.

When contacted, Prof Mohammad Gulrez argued that he was not a candidate himself, so there was no conflict of interest.

Naima Khatoon Gulrez clarified that the Department of Education circulars do not mention spouses of V-C nominees needing to recuse themselves.

A university official close to Gulrez stated that even without her husband’s vote, Naima would have been among the top five candidates due to her qualifications.

However, a former member of the AMU Court called for the rejection of the current panel and the formation of a new one with transparency and in accordance with the university’s regulations.

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