Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is a public university funded by the Government of India. It was originally established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. The Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. The main campus of AMU is located in the city of Aligarh. Spread over 467.6 hectares, AMU offers more than 300 courses in both traditional and modern branches of education. In addition to this it has it's off campus centres, as on date three Centres are functional. One is at Malappuarm (Kerala), the other at Murshidabad (West Bengal) and the third one at Kishanganj (Bihar). Malappuram and Murshidabad Centres are functioning from own building offering three courses (MBA, BALLB and BEd). Kishanganj Centre is operating from two buildings offered by Bihar Government at nominal rent and BEd, MBA courses are being offered there as on date. According to the 2014 Asia Ranking of Times Higher Education, AMU ranks 3rd among universities in India. The university comprises all castes, creeds, religions and genders, and is on the list of Institutes of National Importance.
It was established as Madrasatul Uloom Musalmanan-e-Hind in 1875–78, The Anglo–Indian statesman Syed Ahmad Khan founded the predecessor of AMU, the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College, in 1875 having already established two schools. He considered competence in English and "Western sciences" necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence, especially in Northern India. Khan's image for the college was based on his visit to Oxford and Cambridge and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model. HH Sir Mohammad Ali Mohammad Khan and the Aga Khan III also played a major role in realising the idea of Syed Ahmed Khan by collecting funds for building the Aligarh Muslim University
In the beginning the college was affiliated with the University of Calcutta but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. Around 1900 efforts began to make the college its own university. Its range of courses was expanded and a girls school was added in 1907 before it became the Aligarh Muslim University in 1920. The Aligarh Muslim University Act of 1920 made it a central university. The university was designed to train Muslims for government service in India and prepare them for advanced training in British universities.
In 1927, a school for the blind was established and, the following year, a medical school was attached to the university. By the end of the 1930s, the university had developed an Engineering faculty. Syed Zafarul Hasan, joined the Aligarh Muslim University in early 1900s as head of Philosophy Department, dean Faculty of Arts. He was a pro-vice chancellor before his retirement.
Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement. After 1939, political sentiment shifted toward support for a Muslim separatist movement. Students and faculty mobilised behind Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the university became an center of Pakistan Movement.
In late 2014 the university's vice-chancellor Zameerud-din Shah turned down a demand by female students to be allowed to use the Maulana Azad Library, which was male-only. Shah stated that the issue was not one of discipline, but of space as if girls were allowed in the library there would be "four times more boys," putting a strain on the library's capacity. Although there was a separate library for the university's Women's College, it was not as well-stocked as the Maulana Azad Library.National human resource and development ministerSmriti Irani decried Shah's defense as "an insult to daughters."
Responding to a petition filed by a Human Rights Law Network intern, the Allahabad High Court ruled in November 2014 that the university's ban on female students from using the main library was unconstitutional, and that accommodations must be made to facilitate student use regardless of gender. The High Court gave the university until November 24, 2014 to comply.
The university's formal head is the Chancellor, though this is a titular figure, not involved with the day-to-day running of the university. The Chancellor is elected by the members of University Court, a body with members drawn from all walks of life. The university's chief executive is the Vice-Chancellor, appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of the Court. The Court is the supreme governing body of the University and exercises all the powers of the University, not otherwise provided for by the Aligarh Muslim University Act, the Statutes, the Ordinances and the Regulations of the University.
Aligarh Muslim University is a fully residential university having 13 faculties, 7 constituent colleges (5 colleges academic programs), 15 Centres, 3 Institutes, 10 schools. Recently the university opened faculty of International Studies.
The Maulana Azad Library is the library of the university. It consists of a central library and over 100 departmental and college libraries.
It houses royal decrees of Mughal emperors such as Babur, Akbar and Shahjahan are highlights of the collection.
The foundation of the Library was laid in 1877 at the time of establishment of the Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College by Lord Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, the then Viceroy of India and it was named after him as Lytton Library. The present seven-storied building was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India in 1960 and the Library was named after Abul Kalam Azad popularly known as Maulana Azad, the first Education Minister of the independent India.
Social science cyber library was inaugurated by Pranab Mukherjee,the President of India on 27 December 2013. In 2015 the Cybrary was accredited with the International Standard Organisation certification.
In 2015, the law school was number 6 in India's best law colleges compiled by India Today. It had consistently ranked in the top 20 in previous years. The medical school of the university was ranked 14 by India Today in its 2015 ranking.
In 2015 US News and World Report in its education and advice ranked the university 6th in India, 110th in Asia and 69th in Mathematics subjects. The university ranked 20 by Careers 360 (Magazine).
The Aligarh Muslim University is the setting for numerous works of fiction. Films set in the university include Mere Mehboob a 1963 film directed by Harnam Singh Rawail and starring Rajendra Kumar, Sadhana, Ashok Kumar, Nimmi, Pran, Johnny Walker and Ameeta. The 1966 film Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal was also filmed on the campus As of September 2015[update], Aligarh, a film about a gay professor from the university was being filmed.