Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is an Indian public central university. It was originally established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. The College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.[3] The main campus of AMU is located in the city of Aligarh. It has its three off-campus centres at Malappuram (Kerala), Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Kishanganj (Bihar). The university is an Institute of National Importance provided under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution at its commencement.[4][5]

Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh Muslim University logo
The Seal of the Aligarh Muslim University
Other name
Former names
Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College
Arabic: عَلَّمَ الاِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَم
ʻallam al-insān-a mā lam yaʻlam
Motto in English
He taught man what he knew not(Qur'an 96:5)
Established1920 AD
Endowment$18.2 million[1]
ChancellorMufaddal Saifuddin
Vice-ChancellorProf Tariq Mansoor
Academic staff
Location, ,
Coordinates: region:IN-UP 27°54′54″N 78°04′44″E / 27.9150085°N 78.0787925°E
AffiliationsUGC, NAAC, ACU[2]


Bab-e-syed, the gateway to AMU


It was established as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875.[6] The college started on 24 May 1875.[7] The Anglo–Indian statesman Syed Ahmad Khan founded the predecessor of AMU, the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College, in 1875 having already established two schools.[8] The movement of Muslim awakening associated with Syed Ahmad Khan and M.A.O. College came to be known as Aligarh Movement.[9] 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.[10]

The 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan made a donation of Rupees 5 Lakh to the institution in 1918. [11][12][13] The Viceroy and Governor General of India Lord Northbrook gave a donation of Rs 10000 and the Lt. Governor of the North-Western Provinces contributed Rs 1000. By March 1874 the fund for the college stood at Rs 153492 and 8 anas.[7] Sri Maharao Raja Mahamdar Singh Mahamder Bahadur, the Maharaja of Patiala contributed Rs.58,000. His Highness the Maharaja of Vizianagaram, K.C.S.I also made donations.[14] Shambhu Narayan, Raja of Benaras donated Rs 60.[15]

In the beginning, the college was affiliated with the University of Calcutta for the matriculate examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. In 1877, the school was raised to the college level and Lord Lytton laid the foundation stone of the college building.[7]

Transformation into university

Around 1900, efforts began to make the college its own university. The Aligarh Muslim University Act of 1920 made it a central university.[10] Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan and the Aga Khan III collected funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University[16]

In 1927, a school for the blind was established by Sahibzada Aftab Ahmad Khan 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.[17][18]

Women's education

Women's education started at the university with the establishment of the Girls School on 19 October 1906. The All India Muhammadan Educational Conference had started a movement to establish girls education from 1896. The school became intermediate college in 1929 and on 1930 it was made a constituent college of the university and the name was changed to Women's College.[19]

In late 2014 the university's vice-chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah turned down a demand by female students of the college to be allowed to use the Maulana Azad Library, which was male-only. Shah stated 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.[20][21][22] Although there was a separate library for the university's Women's College, it was not as well-stocked as the Maulana Azad Library.[20] National human resource and development minister Smriti Irani decried Shah's defense as "an insult to daughters."[21]

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.[22][23] The High Court gave the university until 24 November 2014 to comply.[23]

Minority status

Aligarh Muslim University claims itself as a minority institute guaranteed under Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. However, Allahabad High Court has struck down provisions of Aligarh Muslim University Act stating that AMU is not a minority institution. In April 2016, the Indian government advised the court it would not appeal the decision.[24][25]


Aligarh Muslim University Masjid
SS Masjid beside Strachey Hall, AMU Aligarh

The university's formal head is the Chancellor, though this is a titular figure, not involved with the day-to-day running of the university. The Chancellor is elected by the members of University Court, a body with members drawn from all walks of life. The university's chief executive is the Vice-Chancellor, appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of the Court. The Court is the supreme governing body of the University and exercises all the powers of the University, not otherwise provided for by the Aligarh Muslim University Act, the Statutes, the Ordinances and the Regulations of the University.[26]

On 11 April 2015, Mufaddal Saifuddin was elected Chancellor and Ibne Saeed Khan, the former Nawab of Chhatari state, Pro-Chancellor.[27] Habibur Rahman, former vice chancellor of Agra University, was elected Honorary Treasurer.[28]

On May 17, 2017, Tariq Mansoor assumed office as 39th Vice-Chancellor of the university.[29]

Academic profile

Aligarh Muslim University is a residential university with 13 faculties, 7 constituent colleges (5 colleges academic programs), 15 centres, 3 institutes, and 10 schools.[30] Recently the university opened faculty of International Studies.[31]


University and College rankings
General – international
QS (World) (2018)[32]801-1000
QS (BRICS) (2018)[33]161-170
QS (Asia) (2018)[34]238
Times (World) (2018)[35]601-800
Times (BRICS) (2017)[36]157
Times (Asia) (2018)[37]158
General – India
NIRF (Overall) (2018)[38]17
NIRF (Universities) (2018)[39]10
Engineering – India
NIRF (2018)[40]35
India Today (2017)[41]17
Medical - India
India Today (2017)[42]8
Law – India
India Today (2017)[43]2
Business/Management – India
NIRF (2018)[44]49

AMU was ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018.[32] The same rankings ranked it 238 in Asia[34] and 161-170 among BRICS nations.[33] It was ranked 601-800 in the world by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2018,[35] 158 in Asia[37] and 157 among BRICS & Emerging Economies in 2017.[36] It was ranked 17 in India overall by the National Institutional Ranking Framework in 2018,[38] 10th among universities[39] and 49 in the management ranking.[44]

Among engineering colleges, the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering & Technology, the engineering college of the university, was ranked 17 by India Today in 2017[41] and 35 by the National Institutional Ranking Framework among engineering institutes in 2018.[40]

The Faculty of Law was ranked 2nd in India by India Today in 2017.[43] The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, the medical school of the university, has been ranked 8th by India Today in 2017.[42]


Maulana Azad Library
Maulana Azad Library (viewed from Kennedy Lawns)

The Maulana Azad Library is the library of the university. It consists of a central library and over 100 departmental and college libraries. It houses royal decrees of Mughal emperors such as Babur, Akbar and Shahjahan are highlights of the collection.[45]

The foundation of the Library was laid in 1877 at the time of establishment of the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College by Lord Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, the then Viceroy of India and it was named after him as Lytton Library. The present seven-storied building was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India in 1960 and the Library was named after Abul Kalam Azad popularly known as Maulana Azad, the first Education Minister of the independent India.[45][46]

The Social Science Cyber Library was inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India on 27 December 2013.[47] In 2015 the Cybrary was accredited with the International Standard Organisation certification and in October 2016 registered in Limca Book of Records.[48]

Student life

Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union

Aligarh Muslim University Students` Union or AMUSU is the university-wide representative body for students at the university.


Sherwani is worn by male students of the university and is a traditional attire of the university. It is required to be worn during official programs.[49] The university provides sherwani at a subsidized price.[50] Sherwani is a unique tradition of Aligarh Muslim University. In early 2013, Zameer Uddin Shah came into prominence by insisting that male students have to wear sherwani if they wanted to meet him.[51]

Clubs and societies

Sports and cultural activities are executed by various clubs available in the campus. Notable ones include the oldest, Cricket club[52] , Horse riding club.[53] and AMU Drama Club.[54]

Old Boys Association

Old Boys Association was established in 1898.[55]

Notable alumni

Throughout its history a sizable number of university alumni, popularly known as Aligs, have become notable in many varied fields, both academic and otherwise, ranging from Zakir Husain, 3rd President of India;[56] Pashtun independence activist Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan; the former Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari;[57]André Weil the French mathematician of the 20th century;[58] Anwara Taimur the first and the only woman to be the Chief Minister of Assam.[59] Sheikh Abdullah, and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed both former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.[60][61] Sports persons like Dhyan Chand, Lala Amarnath and Zafar Iqbal[62] are some among the many alumni of the university.

University in literature and other media

The Aligarh Muslim University is the setting for numerous works of fiction. Films set in the university include Mere Mehboob, a 1963 film directed by H. S. Rawail and starring Rajendra Kumar, Sadhana, Ashok Kumar, Nimmi, Pran, Johnny Walker and Ameeta. The 1966 film Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal was also filmed on the campus.[63] Aligarh 2015, a film on Ramchandra Siras a gay professor from the university, has been released and received a warm response worldwide.[64]


  1. ^ "Aligarh Muslim University, BHU welcome budgetary allocations". The Times of India. 1 Mar 2013.
  2. ^ "Association of Commonwealth Universities Membars-Asia". Retrieved 16 Jan 2019.
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  8. ^ Muhammad Moj (1 March 2015). The Deoband Madrassah Movement: Countercultural Trends and Tendencies. Anthem Press. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-1-78308-388-6.
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  18. ^ Zakir Ali Khan, an alumnus of AMU, in an Interview with The Dawn, Pakistani newspaper
  19. ^ "Women's College of Aligarh Muslim University |". Retrieved 2016-03-27.
  20. ^ a b Eram Agha, Girls in AMU library will ‘attract’ boys: VC. The Times of India, 11 November 2014.
  21. ^ a b Irani slams AMU V-C over women in library remark. Hindustan Times, 11 November 2014.
  22. ^ a b Allow entry of girls inside library: Allahabad High Court to AMU. Deccan Chronicle, 25 November 2014.
  23. ^ a b India court library ban on women 'unconstitutional'. BBC News Online, 14 November 2014.
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  37. ^ a b "Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings (2018)". The Times Higher Education. 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  38. ^ a b "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2018 (Overall)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2018.
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  40. ^ a b "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2018 (Engineering)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2018.
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  50. ^ "For AMU students, wearing sherwani no issue - Indian Express". Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  51. ^ Bhalla, Sahil. "This isn't the first time the Aligarh Muslim University VC has said something outrageous". Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  52. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2014-10-10). A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport (New and Updated Edition). Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9789351186939.
  53. ^ "Galloping to glory". The Hindu. 2011-02-26. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
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  56. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica- Biography". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
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  62. ^ "Some hearts still beat for hockey here". India Today. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  63. ^ Share on Twitter (2014-03-15). "Tigmanshu Dhulia to shoot at Aligarh Muslim University? - The Times of India". Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  64. ^ "Aligarh review: Manoj Bajpayee touches your heart, changes perceptions". Hindustan Times. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2016-03-26.

Further reading

  • 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

Ahmadi School for the Visually Challenged, Aligarh Muslim University

Ahmadi School for the Visually Challenged (formerly Ahmadi Blind School) is a constituent school of the Aligarh Muslim University catering the visually challenged students. It also gives vocational training such as typing, armature winding, Turner's course, instrumental and vocal music, weaving of handlooms, and cane and bamboo work.

Ahmadi School provides free lodging, food and clothing. The school aims to provide various sports facilities such as swimming, skating and cricket to cater to the physical rejuvenation of students.

Aligarh Fort

Aligarh Fort (Aligarh Qila) also known as "bonay (बौने / بونے ) chor ka qila"(English- Dwarf thief's fort) is located in the city of Aligarh , Uttar Pradesh. It is also called "Aligarh Qila". Most part of it is damaged and only a peripheral appearance of a fort is present. It is situated near the G T road and consists of a regular polygon, surrounded by a very broad and deep ditch.

Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union

The Aligarh Muslim University Students` Union (AMUSU) is the university-wide representative body for students at the Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. It is primarily responsible for building and preserving a healthy political culture and an atmosphere of open debates on the campus. Students are kept informed about the public meetings, discussions and other issues through pamphlets and notices. Public Action, an objective forum, invited a variety of journalists, politicians, and academics, to debate and discuss various topics.

Bashir Hussain Zaidi

Sayyid Bashir Hussain Zaidi, CIE, MP (30 July 1898 – 29 March 1992) was a member of the first Lok Sabha and the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University from 1956 to 1962.

He also served as a member of the Constituent Assembly of India from United Provinces (later Uttar Pradesh). He was awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour, by Government of India in 1976.

Cricket Club, Aligarh Muslim University

Cricket Club, Aligarh Muslim University (formerly, MAO Cricket Club) was established in the year 1878 at Aligarh.

Faculty of Arts, Aligarh Muslim University

Faculty of Arts is one of the faculties of Aligarh Muslim University comprising 10 departments. The faculty of Arts offers a number of courses in different language courses in the respective departments. The faculty is situated on the opposite side of Maulana Azad Library.

Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University

The Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University is the law school of the Aligarh Muslim University which has a history of over 100 years of teaching and writing law.

In 2014, the faculty was listed on number 6 in India's best law colleges list compiled by India Today which it retained in 2015 and 2016 as well.

Faculty of Social Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University

Faculty of Social Sciences is the faculty of Aligarh Muslim University.

Faculty of Theology, Aligarh Muslim University

The Faculty of Theology is a part of Aligarh Muslim University.

Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry

Fazal Elahi Chaudhry (Punjabi, Urdu: فضل الہی چودھری‬‎; 1 January 1904 – 2 June 1982), was a politician who served as the 5th President of Pakistan from 1973 until 1978, prior to the martial law led by Chief of Army Staff General Zia-ul-Haq.

(see codename Fair Play). He also served as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 1965 to 1969 and the 8th Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan from 1972 to 1973.

Fida Mohammad Khan

Fida Mohammad Khan (Urdu: فدا محمد خان; 24November 1919 – 20 December 2007) was a Pakistani conservative economist and lawyer who served as the Governor of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province under the military government of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq from 1986 until 1988. He was one of the founding members of the All-India Muslim League for its Northwest Frontier Province chapter before 1947.

Hakim Abdul Hameed

Hakim Abdul Hameed (1908 - 1999) was an Indian physician of the traditional medicine system of Unani, the founder chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, and a former chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. He was the founder and chief trustee of Hamdard Laboratories. He was honoured by the Government of India in 1965, with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award and in 1991, the government awarded him the third highest Indian honour of Padma Bhushan.

Irfan Habib

Irfan Habib (born 1931) is an Indian historian of ancient and medieval India, following the approach of Marxist historiography. He is well known for his strong stance against Hindu and Islamic communalists. He has authored a number of books, including Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707.

Mohammad Hamid Ansari

Mohammad Hamid Ansari (pronunciation ; born 1 April 1937) is an Indian politician and retired Indian Foreign Service officer who served as the 12th Vice-President of India from 2007 to 2017. He has also served as an Indian ambassador and is ex-chairman of Rajya Sabha. Ansari was the first person to be re-elected as Indian VP after Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in 1957. He served as President of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Chancellor of Panjab University , Delhi University , Pondicherry University and the President of the Indian Council of World Affairs in his capacity as vice president

Ansari worked as an ambassador and served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from 2000 to 2002. Later he was Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities from 2006 to 2007. He was elected as the Vice-President of India on 10 August 2007 and took office on 11 August 2007. He was reelected on 7 August 2012 and was sworn-in by Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India. The oath taking ceremony was conducted at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 11 August 2012. His second term ended in August 2017 since he was not offered another term,he decided not to run for a third term in the 2017 vice-presidential election. Upon the inauguration of Ram Nath Kovind as President of India in 2017, Ansari became the first Indian Vice-President to serve during the terms of three presidents.

He is the longest serving chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Moinuddin Ahmad Art Gallery, Aligarh Muslim University

Moinuddin Ahmad Art Gallery, Aligarh Muslim University is the art gallery of Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. It has been restored after 80 years.

Vellayani Arjunan

Vellayani Arjunan (born 10 February 1933) is an Indian writer, scholar and linguist from Kerala. He has served two terms at the State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications, a state government agency, as the Chief Editor from 1975 to 1988 and as the director from 2001 to 2004. During his tenure at the institute, seven volumes of the 12 volume Malayalam encyclopedia, Viswasahityavijnanakosam were published. He is credited with several publications including children's literature and critical studies. His book, Gaveshana Mekhala has been a prescribed text for the post graduate course, MA Malayalam, at the Aligarh Muslim University. A recipient of the Paramacharya Award from Sarojini Bhaskaran Memorial Charitable Public Trust, he was honored by the Government of India, in 2008, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.In 2015, Aligarh Muslim University awarded him a third D.Litt. degree for his thesis in Malayalam on 'Influence of Sree Narayana Guru on Malayalam Poetry'. He is the first Indian to hold three D.Litt. degrees.

Women's College, Aligarh Muslim University

Women's College AMU, Aligarh is a college of Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh. It was established in 1906 by Dr. Sheikh Abdullah - Papa Mian and his wife Waheed Jahan Begum. Originally located at Upper Court, Aligarh, in 1921 it became a high school and in 1922 gained Intermediate College status. In 1937 it became an undergraduate college and affiliated to the Aligarh Muslim University.

Presently, Prof. (Mrs.) Naima Khatoon is the Principal of Women's College.

Approximately 2500 women students including overseas students are studying in Women's College, Aligarh Muslim University, in different faculties. Women's College has a total strength of 113 teaching staff and 75 non-teaching staff.

Yousuf Hussain Khan

Yousuf Hussain Khan (1902–1979), born in Hyderabad, India, was a historian, scholar, educationist, critic and author. He mastered the languages of Arabic, English, French, Urdu, Hindi and Persian.

Zameer Uddin Shah

Zameer Uddin Shah is a retired Lieutenant General of the Indian Army. He last served as the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Personnel & Systems), Indian Army. After retirement, he served for some time as an administrative member on the bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

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