Noted academicians, activists and dalit scholars addressed a press conference in Delhi yesterday in the wake of Muthu Krishnan’s suicide in JNU. They demanded institutional mechanisms to redress complaints of discrimination and initiatives to address isolation of students from marginalised backgrounds in the centres of higher education. Here is their statement and demands –
Taking the issue of recent incident of Suicide of a 1stYear research scholarfrom Jawaharlal Nehru University J. Muthukrishnan a press conference has been organised to raise the issue of systematic discrimination in academic institutions across the nation . Press conference have raised issues of discrimination in process of admission, study, filling up vacancy of SC/ST posts in various universities across the country.
Students of Birsa Ambedkar Phule Association from JNU have shared that how JNU is being one of the best university also contains systematic discrimination with Students from Dalit and Marginalised background right from the process of admission upto completing his / her tenure in JNU . Adding to this one other student from history department have shared his experience how he was discriminated based on his caste. Students from JNU have also expressed that there is no conducive atmosphere for students coming from socially marginalised background .
Along with students from JNU, students and faculty from Delhi university , Jamia Millia Islamia and other universities have also expressed the same truth and facts about discrimination by default with students from Dalit and Marginalised communities .
Teachers and professors from Jamia Milia Islamia , DU and other universities have shared that government is taking no efficient steps to full fill all the backlog seats vacant for SC/ST /OBC category . Several faculties have also alleged that despite having a guideline issued by UGC for universities in 2012 there is no provision of proper protection of Rights and entitlements of the students and teachers from marginalised communities and there is continued violation of rights of students form Dalit and Marginalised communities .
Activists from various social organisations have also blamed the government on huge denial of SCSP/TSP funds in MHRD for SC/ST students . It has been also shared that large number of post-metric scholarships at central and state level are pending and due to that huge number of drop outs are increasing and students from SC/ST communities are not able to sustain their higher education .
Looking into the continued denial and suppression of students from Dalit and Marginalised sections in various levels at higher education institutes following demands have been raised for the protection of Dalits and Adivasi students.
- CBI enquiry of all the suicide taken in all the universities across the nation
- Immediately ensure the implementation of the ugc’s regulations against discrimination in higher education, as per the gazette no. 14-3/2012(cpp-ii) which provide for detailed measures to address discrimination, harassment, unfavourable treatment, victimisation and ragging. Institutionalised mechanisms to address discrimination, including punitive action, have been set up under these regulations but most campuses have not implemented it.
- A thorough and impartial audit of mechanisms in universities and academic institutions to address caste based discrimination
- Implement the recommendations of the standing committee of the ministry of human resource development, headed by Prof. Sukhdev Thorat, on proper implementation of schedule caste sub plan and tribal sub plan budget in higher education
- Set up grievance cells to ensure speedy and credible readressal of complaints of social discrimination in all campuses in the country
- With an immediate effect, ensure distribution of various scholarships set up under mhrd, msje and mota for students from marginalised backgrounds
- Initiate remedial courses from to bridge the language divide for students, allow flexibility in medium of instructions and exams
- Immediate filling of vacant posts under SC/ST/OBC quota in universities