Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for university in Aligarh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of the Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Uttar Pradesh. Following the ceremony, he is also slated to address the gathering. As per the official release from the Prime Minister’s Office he will also visit the exhibition models of Aligarh node of Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor and Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University.

The University is being established by the Uttar Pradesh government in honour of freedom fighter, educationist and social reformer, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. Set up over 92 acres at village Lodha and village Musepur Kareem Jarouli, it will provide affiliation to 395 colleges of the Aligarh Division, informed the official communique.

Earlier on Monday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the venue to oversee the preparations for the event. The inaugural event comes approximately seven years after the local BJP first demanded renaming the AMU after Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who had “donated the land” for it.

A controversy had erupted in the district in 2014 when local BJP leaders demanded the Aligarh Muslim University be renamed after him as the “AMU had been built on the land donated by the late Raja”. The issue first cropped up as the lease of the 1.2 hectares of land at the City School, under the AMU, was expiring then, and the legal heirs of the late Raja were reluctant to renew this lease.

Last year, however, the issue had largely been resolved when the AMU authorities offered a proposal for rechristening the school after the late Raja. On Monday, an AMU historian had however told news agency PTI had there were “certain technicalities” that still needed to be worked out.

Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, who belonged to the district, was an alumnus of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and was also the president of India’s first provisional government-in-exile established on December 1, 1915 in Kabul. Belonging to the royal family of Mursan, he had left his home and family in Aligarh in December 1914 and escaped to Germany and remained in exile for about 33 years as he was wanted by the British authorities. He returned in 1947 only after India gained independence. He was elected to Lok Sabha from Mathura in 1957, defeating the then Jan Sangh candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee, contesting as an Independent.