Naima Khatoon was appointed on Monday as the Aligarh Muslim University vice-chancellor, the first woman to be appointed to the university’s top position.

Prof Naima Khatoon has been appointed vice chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University(AMU website)

“The President of lndia, in her capacity as the Visitor of AMU, has been pleased to appoint Professor Naima Khatoon, Professor/Principal, Women’s College, as the Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University for a period of five (5) years from the date on which she enters upon his office or the date on which she completes seventy years of age, whichever is earlier,” the Union education ministry said in a letter to AMU.

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The university did not have a full-time vice chancellor since April 2023 when her predecessor Tariq Mansoor’s term ended.

The communication also said that the Election Commission of India has allowed the government to go ahead with the appointment from the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) angle subject to the condition that “no publicity shall be there and no political mileage may be derived from it”.

Following the ministry’s letter, the AMU also issued a notification late on Monday evening notifying Naima Khatoon as the VC of AMU.

Khatoon’s candidature – she has been serving as principal of AMU’s women’s college since 2016 – for the vice chancellor’s position was previously challenged in the Allahabad high court in November 2023 on the grounds that her name was shortlisted by a committee headed by her husband Mohammed Gulrez, who was serving as the acting V-C of the university but the petition was dismissed. The matter was again challenged in the high court and is pending.

An alumnus of AMU, Khatoon did her schooling in Odisha and shifted to AMU where, after completing her pre-university degree, she studied psychology at the undergraduate and post-graduate level in 1981 and 1983, respectively. She was later awarded PhD in psychology in 1989, according to the AMU website..

She has also authored or co-authored six books.

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