IIT-Indore’s plan for OBC hostel draws flak
Union social justice minister Thawarchand Gehlot’s Facebook post announcing hostels at IIT-Indore that will have 60% reservation for backward class students has triggered a row, with students and opposition decrying the discrimination and introduction of caste system in the institute.indore Updated: Oct 17, 2016 07:28 IST
Union social justice minister Thawarchand Gehlot’s Facebook post announcing hostels at IIT-Indore that will have 60% reservation for backward class students has triggered a row, with students and opposition decrying the discrimination and introduction of caste system in the institute.
The ministry’s decision to release funds for the construction of OBC hostels in the institute was posted on Gehlot’s Facebook page on September 22.
“Isn’t (this) a discrimination between general, SC/ST and OBC? They (OBC students) have every right to live with general or other higher economically forward castes,” asked Awadhesh Kumar Sharma, president of Gymkhana, student body of IIT-Indore in reply to the post.
Other students took to Twitter to express their angst at the decision introducing reservation in hostels for the first time in IITs.
“@HRDMinistry India me to #castism chlta hai #iitindore me bhi applied claps,” a student tweeted from an anonymous account.
“None of the IITs, IIMs or NITs has this kind of discrimination or separate accommodation at their campuses. These are institutes of excellence and such behaviour should not be tolerated. This may shift the focus on caste instead of merit and talent,” said an IIT-Jodhpur alumnus, who is pursuing another course from IIT-Indore.
When contacted, Gehlot, a RS member from Madhya Pradesh, said the funds were given following a proposal by IIT-Indore and rubbished claims of discrimination.
“These hostels will have 40% of students from other (social) categories. We are giving Rs 15 crore to ensure that IIT-Indore has infrastructure for OBC students,” he told HT.
Congress spokesperson Ravi Saxena accused the BJP of trying to introduce casteism in educational institutes. “This is uncalled for and unconstitutional move by the Union minister,” he said.
IIT-Indore officials refused to comment on the issue, with faculty media coordinator, Nirmala Menon said they were waiting for further clarifications on the decision.