Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Monday said the words "Muslim" and Hindu will not be dropped from the names of Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University.
"Both universities are decades old and we have no plans to change their names. The words 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' will not be dropped from the name of BHU and AMU," the Minority Affairs Minister said.
Earlier, a UGC panel has recommended that words such as 'Hindu' and 'Muslim' in names of universities -- Banaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University -- do not reflect their secular character and should be dropped.
The panel was formed to probe the alleged irregularities in 10 central universities and the recommendations have been made in the audit report of AMU.
Centrally funded universities are secular institutions but such words related to religion in their names do not reflect that character, a panel member said on the condition of anonymity.
The universities can be simply called Aligarh University and Banaras University or be renamed after their founders, the panel member added.
Besides AMU and BHU, other universities that were audited by the panel include:
Pondicherry University, Allahabad University, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Uttarakhand, Central University of Jharkhand, Central University of Rajasthan, Central University of Jammu, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, University of Tripura and Hari Singh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh.
(With Agency inputs)