IIT Madras row: Student group protests derecognition; Official says they violated guidelines
Friday, 29 May 2015 - 2:20pm IST Updated: Friday, 29 May 2015 - 2:21pm IST | Place: Madras | Agency: dna webdesk
As per the guidelines in force, student bodies cannot use the name of IIT Madras or its official entities in any capacity to publicise their activities or garner support without official permission," Prof Ramamurthy, Acting Director, told reporters.
Indian Institute of Technology Madras has found itself in a controversy over the alleged derecognition of a students' body for reportedly criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to report, the decision to ban AmbedkarPeriyar Student Circle (APSC), a student association, was taken after the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) made an inquiry regading the complaint.
Prisca Mathew, under secretary to the government of India, wrote a letter to the IIT director requesting the comment on the issue. "I am directed to forward herewith a copy of anonymous letter alleging serious complaints received from students, IIT-Madras along with pamphlet issued by Ambedkar-Periyar study circle on the above mentioned subject and to request that comments of the institute may please be sent to this ministry at an early date," reported a daily.
Following which, the IIT dean (for students), Sivakumar M Srinivasan, sent an email to the coordinators of the APSC informing them that they had been 'derecognised'.
However, Dean Sivakumar M Srinivasan has justified the ban saying the APSC has broken the basic code of conduct. They have misused privileges given to them.
Reacting to the issues, the study group has strongly hit out at the decision, according to the text of the letter published on scroll.in.
"This move of DoS clearly shows, only opinions put forth by the right wing group will get the consent to see the light of the day, while the voices and opinion of the democratic students like us will be curtailed hereafter."
The group alleges that the Dean de-recognized the study circle unilaterally without giving them a fair hearing and an opportunity to represent themselves.
The letter goes on to state that "We stand by our opinions. Yes, we were very critical of the government. However, we do not understand how dissent and criticism of the government’s policy is akin to “spreading hatred”. If any person professing an anti-establishment view is accused of engaging in “controversial” activities and all dissent is stifled, wouldn’t that be a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely express ourselves?"
Meanwhile, a senior official told reporters that the students had "violated" defined guidelines of IIT-Madras.
"As per the guidelines in force, student bodies cannot use the name of IIT Madras or its official entities in any capacity to publicise their activities or garner support without official permission," Prof Ramamurthy, Acting Director, told reporters.
"This group has violated the guidelines while conducting their meeting," he said without elaborating.
A separate statement by the institute said that while IIT-M does not "curtail" students' freedom of expression, "it is expected that student groups adhere to these guidelines while conducting their activities."