news Friday, May 29, 2015 - 05:30
Yet another controversy has struck the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD) and IIT Madras after the college "derecognised" a student body following an anonymous complaint forwarded to the Central government that the group was creating polarisation in the name of "caste" and spreading hatred against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “Hindus”. In a swift move, a week after receiving an enquiry from the MHRD, the Dean of IIT Madras has derecognised the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC), a student group because of “misuse of the privileges” given to their study circle. A decision conveyed to APSC students by mail on May 22 came a  week  after Prisca Mathew, Under Secretary to the Ministry of Human Resource Development wrote to the Director of IIT Madras asking for an explanation regarding an anonymous letter that the ministry had received.  The anonymous letter signed “Students, IIT Madras” alleged that APSC was trying to de-align SC, ST students to revolt against the MHRD and the Central Government. The letter also alleged that the group trying to “create hatred against the Honourable Prime Minister and Hindus”. Along with the letter was enclosed a copy of the pamphlet which contained discussions on “pro-corporate moves” of the government like the Land Acqusition Bill, the Insurance Bill, Labour laws, etc.    Signed "Students, IIT Madras", an anonymous letter sent to the MHRD Formed on April 14, 2014, the group was created to promote Ambedkar-Periyar thoughts and to initiate debates on socio-economic political and cultural impacts and as is IIT’s custom, meetings, movie screenings and pamphlet distributions were conducted to trigger debates on various issues.  The anonymous letter also went on to mention that on Ambedkar Jayanthi in April, a discussion had been arranged in which a professor belonging to the Dravidian Univeirstiy in Andhra Pradesh had been invited to talk on the “contemporary relevance of Dr. Ambedkar”. In this discussion, pamphlets were distributed which pointed out the two sides of “communalism and corporatism” .  It was following this discussion that the letter was shot off to the MHRD garnering an enquiry from the Ministry and the director of IIT Madras was asked to respond on the same. According to reports, the Director remains outside the country and has not responded to the MHRD's enquiry. On May 22, students of APSC received an email from the Dean stating that their student body had been derecognised.  However, following the move students belonging to APSC said that it was not the first time they had faced issues alleging that in June 2014, the Dean had directed them to change their name from Ambekdar-Periyar as the names were  politically motivated. However, the student body stuck to the original name citing other groups like that of Vivekananda Study Circle which did not create the same kind of friction.  Stating that in a talk with the Dean following the “de-recognition”, they had been accused of engaging in “controversial activities” that violated the conduct necessary of student bodies, APSC students believe that no privileges” had been misused.  A letter of enquiry sent to the Director, IIT Madras demanding an explanation The APSC pamphlet forwarded along with the letter to the MHRD (Image courtesy: gyancentral.com)  
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