Lucknow: The Allahabad University’s executive council (EC) has rejected requests to change its name after the city was renamed Prayagraj in 2018.
The request to change the university’s name had come from several individuals, groups, as well as government officials, after the Yogi Adityanath government renamed Allahabad to Prayagraj. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had sent a letter to the EC seeking its suggestions.
Now, 12 of the 15 members of the council have rejected the request, while three have not submitted any response, Allahabad University public relations officer Shailendra Mishra told ThePrint.
Who made the demand?
The demand to change the name of Allahabad University after the city was renamed in October 2018 was made from various quarters, including BJP MPs Keshari Devi Patel from Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency and Vinod Kumar Sonkar from Kaushambi, who is an alumnus of the university.
Patel had raised the issue in Parliament last year, while Sonkar had written a letter to the university management.
The university then received letters from the Divisional Commissioner of Prayagraj as well as the UP Chief Secretary, who had both submitted suggestions for the name change, PRO Mishra said.
He added that the EC was scheduled to meet in March 2020, where the name change would have also been discussed. But this had to be postponed due to Covid-19 and the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb its spread.
Therefore, written responses were sought from EC members Monday. The university has now sent an email to the HRD ministry about the members’ rejection of the idea.
AU to follow Allahabad High Court’s lead
According to information obtained by ThePrint from members of the EC who did not wish to be identified, there were three important reasons for rejecting the name change.
First, some members believed that when the name of Madras University and Calcutta University were not changed even after the cities’ names changed, there was no reason to do so for the AU.
Second, some members also pointed out that the name of the Allahabad High Court has not been changed.
The third reason was that the process of renaming the university would require a lot of documentation, such as changing the name in mark sheets, degrees etc., which would be a tough task.
A lecturer at the university told ThePrint that university alumni who study or work abroad may face serious problems, and that there are many practical problems related to document verification. Retaining the old name would just be easier.
Alumni also opposed name change
Several alumni of the Allahabad University have also been opposing the name change proposal, especially through a social media campaign.
Former president of the Allahabad University Students’ Union and Samajwadi Party leader Richa Singh said the institution was recognised globally by its name.
“It is not just any simple name, it’s a symbol of pride extending over several centuries. We thank the executive council, which has rejected this proposal to change the university’s name. It would have created an atmosphere of chaos all around the university,” she said.
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