New Delhi: Three years after the government asked higher educational institutions to implement a 27 percent quota for other backward class (OBC) students, Jamia Millia Islamia is set to implement it in a phased manner and is putting in place the required infrastructure to accommodate the additional student burden it entails.
"This is a misconception that there is disagreement between the university and the government (over the OBC quota). There is no disagreement," Jamia Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung told IANS. Jung, an IAS officer-turned-academician, said that increasing the number of students by 54 percent as set out in the quota needed addition of a lot of infrastructure.
"I have 18,000-19,000 students. The issue is that if we suddenly enhance the number...then it wont be physically possible.
"All that we have requested the government is if we can have some time to build up the infrastructure required to adjust additional people. Let's not forget that our infrastructure is not capable of handling the extra students. Jung said there was an impression "created by people who never knew what really has happened" that the Jamia had said no to the quota system. "There has never been any no from us."
There were protests by Muslim organisations demanding that Jamia be exempted from implementing the quota law as it was a minority institution and taking OBC students would deny Muslim students their admission chances. "This is the law of the land. We are a central university and therefore we should implement the law of the land," Jung emphasised.
"Now, we will go to the government with a plan. We need resources to enhance our capacity," said the vice chancellor, who boasts of his rapport with students as one of his achievements since he joined the varsity a little over four months ago after returning from a research fellowship at Oxford University. However, the vice chancellor did not give a time frame about its implementation.