AURANGABAD: The Maharashtra Wakf Liberation and Protection Task Force, a Pune based organisation working for the cause of wakf is all set to start India’s first National Skills and Vocational University for Muslims on 100 acres of land in Aurangabad with an financial budget of Rs 100 crore by the Maharashtra State Government.
The Wakf Task Force had given the proposal to start the concerned university in Survey No 55 of Alamgir Masjid Trust which is a bonafide wakf land. The 46.4 acres of Waqf Board land is currently under encroachment in Kondhwa Budruk area resulting in a loss for the educational city of India where a National Skills and Vocational University For Muslim Minorities was proposed to be built.
The University will now be built in Aurangabad and the state’s finance ministry has sent an approval for the same. The Finance Ministry has directed the Aurangabad district collector to mark availability of 100 acres of land for the University. The 238 landowners are not willing to budge, while a Right to Information query had revealed that the Waqf Board had been transferred 46.4 acres of land in Kondhwa Budruk by the Charity Commissioner in the year 2006. BeyondHeadlines has an access to the letter sent by the state Finance Ministry directing the Aurangabad district collector to identify and mark a land for the project.
Now, in Aurangabad, the local administration looks immensely keen to set up the proposed and long standing university. The idea of having a skill training university for minorities is the brainchild of a social activist, Saleem Mullah who is also president, Maharashtra Waqf Liberation and Protection Task Force.
“We wanted to come up with the university in Pune but unfortunately due to the ongoing land dispute issue, we could not help it. It has anyway not dampened our spirits as we would now set it up in Aurangabad which has significant amount of land to be given for the project. If it had happened in Pune, we would be happier for sure but even if it is happening in Aurangabad, it is good since we want the upcoming generations to be more skilled with proper direction and knowledge. This would be the first of its kind university in the country,” said Mullah while talking to BeyondHeadlines.
Meanwhile, Imtiaz Jaleel, an MLA from Aurangabad recently met with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in this regard. “yes, due to the controversy and land dispute in Pune, the project would now come up in Aurangabad. On July 19, the finance ministry has sent a letter directing the collector to identify the land to set up the Skills University. We had a word with the finance ministry office bearers and proposed that since the Haj subsidy withdrawal would fetch around Rs 700 crore savings, the money can be diverted for education. Also, finding a land of this measurement would have been really a daunting task in Pune,” said Jaleel in a conversation with BeyondHeadlines.
Former chief commissioner of Income Tax Akramul Jabbar Khan said that the University will become one the pathbreaking centres of skills education and will transform the skilling landscape of the country and the Muslim community. “We thank the government for taking very positive note of our proposal and sanctioning the university for the nation . It will become one of the greatest national assets for India and its countrymen ” he said.
The aim of the university is to bring facilities of higher and tertiary education to the young boys and girls from the community with the objective to acquire vocational, skill-based and employment-centric qualifications.
Saleem Mulla, President, Maharashtra Waqf Liberation and Protection Task Force, AJ Khan, retired IT Commissioner, who is a director (Wakf) of Concern for People Trust, submitted the proposal under the guidance of MLA Imtiaz Jaleel to the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Oct 2017.
According to the proposal, there will be a small campus in the beginning which will be offering full-time programmes but around 20,000 students will be admitted in the skills learning courses on the main campus. The organisation has charted 50 faculties, which are to be offered including faculty of environmental sciences, social sciences, management studies, interfaith studies, faculty of engineering and technology, faculty of oriental medicine, faculty of paramedical studies, faculty of law, faculty of education, faculty of media studies, faculty of dance, drama and music, fine arts, fashion technology and cosmetology, agriculture, science, emerging science and technology, language studies and faculty of library and information sciences. The Skills university will start a special department on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence as a part of the Science Skilling Initiative of the University.