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AMU - Aligarh Muslim University: Comprehensive Insights, Pros, Drawbacks, Controversies, Historical Facts, and More

In the heart of Aligarh, where the winds of tradition meet the aspirations of modernity, stands the illustrious Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), a beacon of enlightenment forged by the visionary Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Born from the embers of history, this venerable institution emerged as the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College, a testament to Sir Syed's unwavering belief in the transformative power of education.

Siddharth Verma08 May 2024 10:49

AMU - Aligarh Muslim University: Comprehensive Insights, Pros, Drawbacks, Controversies, Historical Facts, and More

AMU - Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

In the aftermath of the tumultuous 1857 Indian War of Independence, Sir Syed embarked on a noble quest to offer Muslim students the keys to knowledge, echoing the ethos of inclusivity and progress. Inspired by his vacation to the hallowed halls of Oxford and Cambridge, he endeavored to weave together the fabric of British academia with the rich tapestry of Islamic values, birthing a unique educational paradigm.

Today, AMU stands as a citadel of learning, boasting a repertoire of over 300 degrees across 12 faculties, spanning the realms of technical prowess and interdisciplinary exploration. From the verdant landscapes of West Bengal to the serene backwaters of Kerala, its reach extends, with centers dedicated to nurturing the minds of future leaders in business and law.

With a vibrant tapestry of 28,000 students and a cadre of nearly 1,500 esteemed faculty members, AMU is not just an institution—it's a living, breathing community. Here, within the embrace of its residential precincts, students and mentors coexist in harmony, fostering a culture of camaraderie and intellectual exchange.

Diversity is the cornerstone upon which AMU stands, welcoming souls from every corner of India and beyond, with a special embrace extended to those from Africa, West Asia, and Southeast Asia. Here, caste, creed, religion, and gender dissolve into insignificance, giving rise to an ethos of unity amidst diversity.

In the hallowed halls of academia, the lingua franca is English, yet the echoes of myriad languages reverberate, a testament to the universality of knowledge. But life at AMU transcends the classroom—here, the spirit of competition finds expression on the field as students rally behind cricket bats and hockey sticks, their dreams soaring on the wings of athletic prowess.

Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle, the soul of AMU finds solace in the gentle cadence of arts and culture. Music fills the air, drama unfolds on stage, and the written word dances upon the pages of literature, each a testament to the indomitable spirit of creativity that thrives within its walls.

Thus, in the mosaic of Aligarh, where the past converges with the present, AMU stands as a bastion of hope and enlightenment, a testament to the enduring legacy of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's timeless vision.


Parameters Details
Established in 1920
University TypeCentral University
Rankings IIRF Central University Ranking - 3rd 
NIRF University Rankings 2023 - 9th
NAAC Accredation A+
Campus Area1155 Acre
Program Offered300+
Official Websitehttps://www.amu.ac.in/ 

Historical Facts about AMU

Here are some less known historical facts about Aligarh Muslim University.

  • Formed in 1920, it emerged from the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental (MAO) institution founded on January 7, 1877, by the eminent visionary and advocate for social change, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.
  • The motto of AMU, "Allama-al Insaana Malam Ya-alam," is derived from Quran 96:5, conveying the idea of teaching humanity what it didn't previously know.
  • Established on May 24, 1875, Sir Syed inaugurated Madarsatul Uloom in Aligarh, drawing inspiration from his visit to London's Oxford and Cambridge universities. He aimed to establish a university mirroring the British education system while upholding Islamic principles.
  • Encompassing 467.6 hectares within Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh Muslim University provides an array of over 300 courses spanning both traditional and contemporary fields of study.
  • Attracting students from across India and various nations, particularly Africa, West Asia, and Southeast Asia, Aligarh Muslim University reserves seats in certain courses for students from SAARC and Commonwealth Countries. The institution maintains an inclusive policy, welcoming individuals regardless of caste, creed, religion, or gender.
  • Expanding its reach, the University has inaugurated three new study centers beyond Aligarh: in Murshidabad, located in the state of West Bengal; in Malappuram, situated in Kerala; and in Kishanganj, located in Bihar.
  • Since its inception in 1952, the Chemical Research Unit has been dedicated to advancing research in Unani medicine. With relentless pursuit, it has standardized 165 Unani compound formulations and analyzed 137 medicinal plants for their chemical constituents. Notably, the unit published "Chemistry of Medicinal Plants" and contributed 93 papers to esteemed national and international journals. The 2021-2022 progress report showcases the unit's focus on chemical analysis of key single drugs, marking another milestone in its journey.
  • The University oversees a primary school along with seven high schools, which includes one specifically for the visually challenged and two senior secondary schools catering to both boys and girls. Additionally, the institution provides a diverse array of courses encompassing Indian, Oriental, and Western languages, with English serving as the primary medium of instruction.
  • Established in 1982, the College of Nursing at Aligarh Muslim University, affiliated with Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JNMCH), began as a Nursing Training Centre with an initial intake of 10 students annually. Recognized by the Indian Nursing Council (INC), New Delhi, and the Uttar Pradesh Medical Faculty (UPSMF) Lucknow, UP, this institution has evolved into a beacon of nursing education and excellence.
  • Established in 1970, the Prof. M. N. Farooqui Computer Centre (PMNFCC) stands as a cornerstone of technological advancement at AMU, Aligarh. With unwavering dedication, it fosters national and international growth by serving as a vital resource hub. Collaborating seamlessly with academic entities, faculties, and departments, PMNFCC spearheads key technology initiatives, enriching skills and driving education through innovative adoption of technology.

Statistic Data

These are some of the important stats from the Annual Report of Aligarh Muslim University 2021-22:

  • With a student body exceeding 37,327, along with 1,686 faculty members and approximately 5,610 non-teaching personnel, Aligarh Muslim University boasts 13 faculties encompassing 117 teaching departments, three academies, and 21 centers and institutes. 
  • The University maintains a residential ambiance, with a majority of staff and students residing on the campus, facilitated by 19 halls of residence and 80 hostels.
  • In the academic session of 2021-22, AMU's scholarly endeavors soared to remarkable heights. With 363 Ph.D. degrees awarded, the institution solidified its reputation for cultivating advanced research. Across borders, 2119 international papers and 918 national papers were published, echoing AMU's global impact. Complementing these publications, 238 books enriched the academic landscape, while 23 university journals fostered vibrant discourse. The resounding impact of this research was evident in the impressive citation count of 118,826, affirming AMU's pivotal role in shaping scholarly dialogue and innovation.
  • AMU students showcased their prowess on the national stage, securing accolades in various prestigious exams. A total of 128 students excelled in the National Eligibility Test (NET), while 179 students triumphed in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). Additionally, 91 students demonstrated their scholarly acumen by qualifying for the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). Moreover, a further 97 students distinguished themselves in various other national-level examinations.
  • AMU boasts a dedicated workforce to support its academic and administrative functions. With 1116 university teachers and 371 university school teachers, the institution ensures quality education and mentorship. Additionally, a robust non-teaching support staff of 5264 individuals contributes to the smooth functioning of various departments. Beyond the campus, 56 off-campus teachers extend AMU's reach, while 14 off-campus non-teaching support staff members provide essential assistance. 
  • As part of its Green Campus initiative, the University operates 6.5 MW of Solar PV Power Plants in grid-connected mode, the largest setup of its kind among academic institutes nationwide. In the fiscal year 2021-22, these plants produced approximately 71.45 lakh units of electricity, covering about 33.11% of the University's power needs. This translates to savings equivalent to about 60.73 lakh kg of CO2 emissions, contributing significantly to environmental preservation.
  • As of March 31, 2022, the embrace of retirement and pension benefits extends to 5750 individuals within our fold. Among them, 3370 bask in the realm of Superannuation Pension, marking the culmination of dedicated years in service. Meanwhile, 2380 finds solace in the embrace of Family Pension, a testament to the enduring support we provide to our cherished retirees and their loved ones.

Why Should you join AMU?

Studying at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) offers numerous perks and advantages, enriching the academic and personal experiences of students:

  • As one of India's oldest and continually thriving universities, AMU holds a captivating allure stemming from over a century of academic legacy. Its rich historical tapestry, spanning more than a hundred years, renders it an intriguing and favored destination for all seeking education and enrichment.
  • With a staggering array of over 300 courses spread across 13 faculties and 98 departments, AMU presents boundless opportunities and prospects for students worldwide, transcending geographical boundaries to embrace diverse aspirations and ambitions.
  • As a central university, AMU maintains a highly affordable fee structure accessible to a significant portion of the Indian populace. Hostel fees for various traditional and professional courses range from 6500 INR to 11500 INR, ensuring that accommodation expenses remain within reach for students pursuing their academic endeavors.
  • The Maulana Azad Library at the University boasts an impressive collection of over 14 lakh books, solidifying its status as one of the largest libraries in India.
  • The Department of Mathematics at Aligarh Muslim University has achieved the top position in India according to the latest rankings by the US News and World Report 2023 for Best Global Universities in Mathematics.
  • Many English language courses at AMU emphasize technical and professional writing, equipping students with skills vital for business development. These courses cover a spectrum of essential documents, including white papers, contracts, presentations, proposals, instructions, and memos. Proficiency in technical writing opens avenues for careers in brochure writing, document design, and newsletter creation, offering diverse opportunities for those adept in this skill set.
  • During the academic session of 2019-20, AMU welcomed a total of 785 foreign and NRI students, comprising 431 undergraduates, 125 postgraduates, and 229 research scholars. Representing 23 countries, these students enrich the University's cultural fabric with diverse traditions, making AMU a truly global and culturally vibrant institution.
  • AMU encourages research and innovation, offering numerous opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research projects under the guidance of experienced faculty members.
  • AMU currently hosts an array of vibrant clubs catering to diverse interests and passions. These include the Riding Club, Hockey Club, Tennis Club, Football Club, and Gymkhana Club. Additionally, students can immerse themselves in sports like volleyball, badminton, basketball, and swimming through dedicated clubs. For those inclined towards physical fitness and adventure, the Gymnasium Club, Hiking & Mountaineering Club, and Skating Club offer avenues for staying active and exploring new horizons. Furthermore, the Physical Culture Club focuses on weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding, promoting a holistic approach to health and wellness within the university community.
  • AMU is deeply committed to serving society through various outreach programs, instilling in its students a sense of social responsibility and civic engagement.
  • AMU boasts a vast network of successful alums who have made significant contributions to various fields globally, providing students with valuable networking opportunities and mentorship. A few of them are mentioned below.
    • Naseeruddin Shah - Bollywood actor
    • Major Dhyan Chand - field hockey player and captain of the Indian men's field hockey team
    • Syed Mushtaq Ali - cricketer
    • Javed Akhtar - urdu poet, Hindu/Urdu film lyrics
    • Bashir Badr - Urdu poet
    • Anubhav Sinha - film director
    • Dalip Tahil - film actor
    • Basharat Peer - journalist, author, and political commentator
    • Deeba Salim Irfan - author and poet
    • Fani Badayuni - Urdu poet
    • Muzaffar Ali - film director
    • Mohammad Hamid Ansari - 12th Vice President of India
    • Muhammad Mansur Ali - 3rd Prime Minister of Bangladesh
    • Zakir Husain - 3rd President of India

Drawbacks of AMU

While AMU is esteemed for its academic prowess and cultural heritage, there are certain drawbacks associated with the institution:

  • AMU provides a narrower selection of B.Tech courses in comparison to other institutions, potentially restricting the choices available to students. This limitation could impact students who are seeking specific engineering specializations or interdisciplinary programs not offered within AMU's B.Tech curriculum. As a result, prospective students should carefully consider their academic and career goals to ensure that AMU's B.Tech offerings align with their aspirations before making a decision.
  • Securing admission to AMU can be a challenging endeavor due to its high level of competitiveness. Prospective students often encounter stringent entrance exams and stringent admission criteria, reflecting the University's commitment to maintaining academic excellence and selecting the most qualified candidates. This competitive environment underscores the importance of thorough preparation and academic achievement for individuals aspiring to join AMU, highlighting the institution's reputation for excellence and the caliber of its student body.
  • AMU's location in a small town may not suit students seeking an urban environment. The quaint setting may lack the bustling city atmosphere that some students desire, leading to potential concerns about access to various amenities, cultural activities, and job opportunities typically found in larger urban centers. However, AMU's serene surroundings offer a peaceful and conducive atmosphere for focused academic pursuits, and the University provides various on-campus amenities to enhance student life, mitigating some of the challenges associated with its small-town location.
  • Like many large institutions, AMU may have bureaucratic processes that can be cumbersome for students to navigate, leading to delays or inefficiencies in administrative matters.
  • AMU's location in Aligarh may limit students' access to significant industrial exposure. Unlike universities situated in major industrial hubs, AMU's proximity to industrial centers may be less extensive, potentially impacting opportunities for internships, industry collaborations, and firsthand experience in industrial settings. This limitation could affect students pursuing fields heavily reliant on practical industry knowledge and experience, highlighting the importance of seeking alternative avenues such as internships, research projects, and networking opportunities to supplement their academic education.
  • If you are an external student, you will not be allocated hostel accommodation during your first year of study at AMU. Hostel accommodations are typically reserved for internal students, such as those from different states or countries, while external students are expected to arrange their off-campus accommodation arrangements. This policy ensures that hostel spaces are prioritized for students who may require on-campus housing due to their distance from home.
  • Given its location, AMU may not attract many core companies for on-campus placements. Instead, it primarily sees visits from startup companies and mass recruiters like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys. However, these opportunities tend to favor students from technical branches such as CSE, ECE, and EE. The average placement package hovers around 7.5 LPA, with the highest package reaching approximately 24 LPA.
  • Several religious disputes at AMU have tarnished its image, leading to hesitation among parents from certain villages to send their children to the University. These disputes, often stemming from religious or cultural differences, have created a perception of instability or insecurity among prospective students and their families. As a result, some parents may be reluctant to entrust their children's education to AMU, fearing potential disruptions or conflicts on campus. This underscores the importance of addressing and resolving religious tensions to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

Controversies related to AMU

While controversies surrounding educational institutions are not uncommon, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has faced its share of scrutiny over the years. One notable controversy involved debates over its minority status and the balance between preserving its Islamic heritage and fostering secular education. Additionally, there have been occasional controversies related to student politics and campus unrest, reflecting broader societal tensions. A few of them are mentioned below.

Supreme Court Debates AMU's Minority Status

In a hearing, the Union government argued that Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) cannot be considered a minority institution due to its "national character." Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that AMU's status as an institution of national importance precludes it from being classified as a minority institution. He emphasized that AMU has historically held significance at the national level. The government's stance arises from concerns that declaring AMU a minority institution would exempt it from implementing the reservation policy, potentially disrupting its admission procedures. The Supreme Court is deliberating on this contentious issue.

Controversial Visit Sparks Protests at Aligarh Muslim University

Protests erupted at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in India on May 2 as Dr. Shawki Ibrahim Abdel Karim Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, visited for an event titled "Dialogue Among Civilizations." Despite heightened security, students held placards condemning Dr. Allam's alleged role in human rights violations. They objected to his visit due to his endorsement of death sentences in Egypt, including that of former President Mohammed Morsi. Amnesty International has criticized Dr. Allam's actions, linking them to a surge in executions in Egypt. Despite the controversy, the event proceeded with a large audience, prompting allegations that students were compelled to attend against their will, raising concerns about academic freedom and ethical engagement.

Former Indian Hockey Captain Advocates Name Change for Aligarh Muslim University

Zafar Iqbal, former Indian Hockey Captain, and AMU alumni suggests that removing the word "Muslim" from Aligarh Muslim University's name could quell political controversies surrounding the institution. Speaking against BJP leaders who labeled AMU as a hub of terrorism, Iqbal emphasizes the University's contributions to India, including producing numerous Olympians. He condemns such statements as baseless and highlights AMU's legacy of nurturing talent and academic excellence. Iqbal's remarks underscore the need to focus on the University's achievements rather than engaging in divisive rhetoric. As a guest of honor at a hockey tournament, he champions AMU's positive impact on Indian sports and society.

Aligarh Muslim University: Battling Controversies and Communal Tensions

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has been marred by a series of controversies, often sparking communal tensions and facing allegations of anti-national activities. In recent years, incidents like the sedition charges against 14 students for allegedly shouting pro-Pakistan slogans after a clash with a Republic TV crew and the uproar over false allegations of discrimination against Hindu students during Ramadan have thrust the University into the limelight. The "Jinnah Row" in 2018, involving a portrait of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, further exacerbated tensions, with accusations of AMU being labeled as pro-Pakistani. Hindutva forces have attempted to exploit these controversies, pushing AMU into a communal conflict zone. Additionally, incidents such as the funeral prayer for slain Kashmiri scholar Manan Wani and subsequent sedition charges against Kashmiri students have further fueled discord. AMU finds itself navigating a complex landscape of communal polarisation and political turmoil, striving to uphold its academic integrity amidst these challenges.

Final Words

In conclusion, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) stands as a venerable institution with a rich history and legacy of academic excellence. Its diverse range of over 300 courses, extensive library resources, and top-ranking departments such as Mathematics showcase its commitment to providing quality education and fostering intellectual growth. Furthermore, AMU's global outlook is evidenced by its welcoming environment for foreign and NRI students, contributing to a culturally vibrant campus community.

However, AMU also faces challenges that warrant consideration. The limited selection of B.Tech courses and the competitive admission process may pose obstacles for prospective students, requiring careful assessment of individual academic goals. Additionally, the University's small-town location in Aligarh may deter some students from seeking urban amenities and industrial exposure despite its tranquil atmosphere conducive to focused learning.

Moreover, AMU's image has been marred by religious disputes, leading to concerns among certain communities about campus stability and safety. Addressing these issues is crucial to fostering a harmonious and inclusive environment that promotes learning and growth for all students.

Nevertheless, AMU offers numerous advantages, including its affordable fee structure, vibrant extracurricular activities, and notable alum network. With a dedication to research, innovation, and social responsibility, AMU continues to uphold its legacy as a prestigious educational institution while striving to overcome its challenges and create a brighter future for its students and the communities it serves.


Q. What courses does AMU offer?

AMU offers a diverse range of courses across various disciplines, including arts, science, commerce, engineering, medicine, law, and social sciences. Some popular courses include Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.), Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), and Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Q. What is the admission process like at AMU?

The admission process at AMU typically involves entrance examinations and merit-based selection, depending on the course and level of study. Prospective students need to register for the relevant entrance exam, meet the eligibility criteria, and perform well in the exam to secure admission. The University releases detailed admission notifications and guidelines on its official website, providing all necessary information regarding application deadlines, exam dates, and eligibility requirements.

Q. Can you provide some insights into AMU's history?

Established in 1920 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, AMU has a rich history of over a century. It was founded with the aim of promoting education among Muslims in India during the colonial era. Over the years, AMU has evolved into a prestigious institution known for its academic excellence, cultural heritage, and contributions to nation-building. The University continues to uphold its founding principles of inclusivity, secularism, and social responsibility.

Q. What facilities does AMU provide to its students?

AMU offers a wide range of facilities to support the academic and personal growth of its students. These include well-equipped libraries, laboratories, computer centers, sports complexes, hostels, medical facilities, and student support services. The University also organizes extracurricular activities, cultural events, and student clubs to enhance the overall campus experience.

Q. How does AMU contribute to research and innovation?

AMU is committed to fostering research and innovation across various disciplines. The University encourages faculty and students to engage in research projects, scholarly activities, and collaborative initiatives with industry and academia. AMU's research centers, institutes, and collaborations with national and international organizations provide opportunities for cutting-edge research and knowledge creation in diverse fields, contributing to the advancement of society and knowledge. 


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