• Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| November 11, 2014| 10.27 am IST | Updated 03:00 pm 

Aligarh Muslim University has once again denied its girl students the opportunity to make use of its vast book collection at the Maulana Azad Library because of discipline problems that could surface if girls were allowed. 

According to the vice-chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah of the university, if girls were allowed to use the library, there would be four times the number of boys usually present, reported Times of India

The same view was supported by the Women’s College principal Naimal Gulrez who said that if girls were present in an already jam-packed library, discipline issues could come up, said the report.

For a number of years, women students have not been allowed access to the Maulana Azad Librbary which holds more books than the Women’s college libary. The problem has been going on for decades, the Principal of the Women’s College in 2011 had said that the strict rules were only to “protect" the girls according to a Hindu report. 

Then, Professor Emeritus at AMU had called the practice “unconstitutional” and going against a necessity for women’ education. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Vice Chancellor Shah clarified that undergraduate girls were not allowed because there was no place in the library for them. He also said that the library is open for 18 hours, with postgraduate girls allowed into the library.

He told NDTV ,"We encourage girls to be equal with our boys. Women empowerment is one of our aims."

After Shah's original remarks came to light, The Human Resource Department will seek a report from the Aligarh Muslim University on the issue, said the report.

It remains to be seen if universities themselves who are taking the easier route of “protecting” its girl students from the real world make any changes this time around. 

Shah has been known for bringing other strict rules regarding women students in the college. It was made mandatory for girls to wear salwars with dupattas at all times in the hostel and outside, according to an AAJTak report. The hostellers are also allowed to use only one phone and are not allowed to visit hotels, said the report.