Through an RTI, the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) obtained the interview marks sheet of several candidates for the academic year 2019-2020.

Armed with RTI Uni of Hyderabad students allege discrepancies in filling reserved seatsImage: Facebook/UOH
news Education Saturday, February 01, 2020 - 11:41

Students from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have pointed out discrepancies in the selection process of PhD candidates, and allege that it deprives students from marginalised communities of SC, ST, BC and OBC an opportunity to pursue research. 

Through an RTI, the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) obtained the interview marks sheet of several candidates for the academic year 2019-2020. 

The RTI disclosed that from the Department of Materials Engineering and Department of Education, seven students were denied a seat with a remark saying that their performance was 'not-satisfactory'. This, rather than awarding them marks, which ASA students allege to be a violation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. 

“This is completely violative of the UGC guidelines. The interviewers have to mandatorily award marks rather than giving a ‘not satisfactory’ remark. This dubious evaluation process provides scope to deprive underprivileged students from getting admissions,” ASA president Iniyavan told TNM.  

As per UGC guidelines, 70 marks are awarded for a written exam and 30 marks for an interview. 

"In the Education Department, a student who had topped the written exam was not given admission, and in the interview column for marks, it was simply mentioned that it was ‘not satisfactory’," Iniyavan alleged.

Besides this, the university stands accused of not filling reserved category seats.    

Iniyavan alleged that the Education Department denied admission for a student in spite of having vacancy in the reserved category. "A student from the marginalised community was the only candidate from his category to appear for the exam but they denied him a seat and the seat is now vacant. This is a clear-cut violation of the reservation policy. This student too has not been given marks and was given a ‘not satisfactory' remark instead," he said.

ASA alleges that in the Department of Materials Engineering too, reserved category seats were not filled.

“Two seats -- Scheduled Caste category seat and OBC category seat -- are vacant due to the reluctance of the department in filling them up. Only general category students are given a seat in that admission. Reserved category students, in spite of topping the list, were not given admission," the ASA alleged in a statement.

"They were not given adequate marks in the interview precisely due to the casteist attitude of the interview board. This also goes against the UGC guidelines which categorically rejected these sorts of practices,” the statement alleged.

However, the administration said that there were no discrepancies in the admission process, nor any violation. 

While the Registrar couldn’t offer a clarification, another official from the Controller of Examinations office said, "There were no violations. In the prospectus it is clearly mentioned that the interviewing panel can offer such remarks (referring to the not satisfactory remark)." 

He also denied that the university violated the reservation policy. Challenging the administration, the ASA students have decided to move court.

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