A circular at a girls' hostel of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) advising students to wear "decent clothes like salwaar kameez" has sparked a furore, prompting the varsity to withdraw it.
The controversy started following a circular pasted by the provost of girls' hostel, Abdullah hall, two days back which advised students to wear "decent clothes" like salwar kameez and not to carry more than one mobile phone.
As the diktat drew criticism from various quarters, the AMU authorities last night withdrew the circular while clarifying that it "never even remotely suggested that jeans or T-shirts or any other dress is on the ban list at AMU".
"We have no intention whatsoever of specifying any dress code and neither did the above circular do so. All that we have sought is that students including girls should be in a decent attire which reflects the ethos of our society.
"In any case the above circular was issued not by top university administration but the provost of one of the halls of residence," said Brigadier (Retd) S Ahmad Ali, AMU's Pro-Vice Chancellor, who is holding charge as the acting VC in the absence of Lt Gen Shah.
Ali said there are five halls of residence for girls in AMU and one out of these had issued an advisory mainly dealing with rules and regulations including the compulsory presentation of ID cards while entering the girls' hostels.
"The above circular was issued by the Provost of Abdullah Hall and not by any senior university official. Even then, we have asked the provost to withdraw the above circular so as to remove even an iota of doubt regarding the sincerity of our intentions," he said.
Ali also refuted media reports claiming that use of Internet and social networking websites was banned in the university's hostels.
"I was quite shocked to read media reports alleging that we have banned the use of Internet and social media for girls. This is a total fabrication as in fact we are in the process of implementing a project under which every student of the university who resides in the hostel including girls will have a direct access to the Internet facilities in their rooms," he added.