Waking up to the caste-based discrimination on campuses the University Grants Commission (UGC) asked state universities to develop a separate page on their websites where scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students can lodge complaints of caste discrimination.
The UGC directive comes days after Hyderabad University’s Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide after he and four other researchers were asked to vacate their hostel accommodation in January 2016 for allegedly opposing the death sentence awarded to Yakub Memon.
Following the UGC circular dated March 1, universities across the state have already started developing webpage where students can lodge complaints on caste bias.
Higher and technical education minister Uma Shankar Gupta said, “Caste discrimination in educational institutions is a serious issue. All the universities and institutes should immediately follow the directives of the UGC. I will also look into matter.”
So far only a handful of universities, including Barkatullah University and Jiwaji University, have a separate page on their official website for posting notifications related to benefits, scholarship and other directives for SC/ST students.
UGC has also directed educational universities to maintain a log on the number of caste bias complaints received and settled.
Welcoming the directive, Rajeev Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidhyalaya (RGPV), SC/ST cell in-charge RK Chedar said, “The university already has a cell where students discuss all their problems, but following the direction of the UGC, we are developing a separate webpage. This is a very good initiative as students can lodge their grievances without any hurdle.” He added that in the past 15 years the university had not received any complaint of caste discrimination.
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) deputy registrar Yashwant Singh Patel also said that the university has a separate cell for SC/ST. “But if any student passes through caste discrimination, he or she can lodge complaint directly at AJJAK,” he said.