First time IIT feels shame at last, the caste-bias rules over IITs

07Jul08

Under pressure from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes/Schedules Tribes Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi had its arm twisted to take back the students it expelled.

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Akhilesh Kumar, a fourth year student of mechanical engineering at IIT-Delhi is one of the 12 SC/ST students who were terminated from the institute this year for poor academic performance.Akhilesh was diagnosed with schizophrenia recently and says he deserves a chance to complete his degree. He alleges that the reason IIT-Delhi isn’t showing leniency is because of his caste.”Professors forcefully asked me ‘are you from SC/ST’ and if you are not able to answer them then they say that the only reason you are here is because of reservation. You are like a sarkari jammaai (government’s son-in-law),” Akhilesh alleges.Worried about remarks like those of Akhilesh’s at the country’s premier engineering institute, the SC/ST Commission had asked the IIT to review the 12 expulsions.IIT-Delhi set up a review committee headed by a retired Dalit professor and revoked three expulsions, two of them of SC students.
But the SC/ST Commission is far from happy.Chairman of the SC/ST Commission Buta Singh says IIT-Delhi is openly flouting University Grants Commission’s (UGC) guidelines on Dalit students. He says he will now ask the HRD Ministry to revoke the suspension of the remaining 10 students”Their review should be taken up by an outside agency because I have lost my faith in the IIT,” says Buta Singh.IIT-Delhi has refused to comment on the issue. But in a press release the institute says, “All allegations of caste bias against the institute are imagined. A special review committee went by the rulebook, looked into each of the cases separately. No students or parent bought up the issue of caste discrimination during the meeting.”Dalit students say it’s not just this case and that they are often made to feel guilty about being at IIT-Delhi and have no institutional space here.IIT-Delhi on the other hand is upset that a case of academic incompetence is being twisted into one of caste discrimination and the truth as always is in the middle.And it is an inconvenient truth perhaps that both sides need to confront sooner rather than later.

Source. CNNIBN



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