A central university in Lucknow has found itself in a controversy after students filed a complaint with the Union HRD ministry alleging that the head of the home science department passed casteist, derogatory remarks against Dalit students.
According to sources, the students in their complaints cited a few instances where Sunita Mishra allegedly passed casteist remarks. “The ministry has been getting a number of complaints from the university from different forums and the VC was asked to look into the matter immediately,” said a senior HRD official.
The vice-chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow has been directed by the HRD ministry to probe the matter and furnish a reply in this regard, confirmed an HRD spokesperson.
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University vice-chancellor professor RC Sobti said the university has received a letter from the HRD ministry and that they were looking into the matter. “We are seriously looking into the charges levelled by students. We are looking into all the papers and documents that are available with us,” Sobti told HT.
The recent trouble for the Ambedkar University comes just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the sixth convocation of the university on January 22 as chief guest. Mishra, however, has refuted the charges and said that her reply has already been sent to the PMO.
“I have taught in BHU earlier and am now in BBAU. I have never passed any casteist remark. Of course, as a teacher I have to maintain discipline also and correct the erring students,” she told HT.
“Recently, there were four students in the school of home sciences, one under me and the rest under other teachers, who did not attend classes or did their PhD work and were issued notices and then they started all pressure tactics to get the PhD without doing any work. The DRC also recommended action against them. They approached several forums but they all were apprised about the truth through the central grievances portal, which was sent to the PMO on November 11,” she said.