IIT Kanpur agrees to Ambedkar portrait, statue on campus
The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, will soon have a statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on its sprawling campus. His portrait will be hung in the conference hall of the institute and the institute will give a no-objection certificate for the registration of the Ambedkar Vichar Manch, an SC/ST association, without any delay.
IIT-K director Abhay Karindikar made all these promises to Swaraj Vidwat, member of National Commission for Scheduled Castes whom he met on Wednesday. Vidwat later told reporters that she got assurances that all her demands would be fulfilled at the earliest.
While the institute and Vidwat both chose not to elaborate on the assurances, some see it as an effort of IIT Kanpur to settle the Prof Subramanyam Sardela issue. An assistant professor in aerospace engineering, Sardela had recently filed an FIR accusing four upper caste professors of allegedly harassing him because of his caste.
His action caused an uproar on the campus and divided it along caste lines, with each side including professors, their wives and students.
Swaraj was here to participate in a three-day 24th convention of the All India SC/ST Federation held in IIT Kanpur. Representatives of seven old IITs Guwahati, Madras, Bombay, Kharagpur, Roorkee, Kanpur and Delhi IITs participated in the convention.
Her meeting with Prof Sardela fuelled speculation that his issue could be taken up at the SC/ST conclave and cause uneasiness within the IIT ranks. She met the director on Wednesday and took up several issues. “We spoke about a roster system, transfers and promotions of SC employees in the institute,” she said.
“The director assured me of justice in every matter,” she said. The director also agreed to issue an NOC necessary for the registration of an SC/ST association and provide all the facilities to it. The AISCSTF was demanding the NOC for registering the association, installation of the statue of Dr Ambedkar and an equipped office room for the association.
On being asked about the Sadrela case, Swaraj said that as the case was subjudice, it was not appropriate for her to comment upon it. However, she did say that Sardela met her and the director of institute has categorically assured that justice will be ensured.
But she did express concern over the behaviour of some officers who failed to do due diligence to the genuine demands of SC candidates and rather ignored their demands. This was the reason that the SC people have to fight to get their rights guaranteed by the constitution, she said.
She said that the situation in the city with regard to SC and ST was very satisfactory as compared to other districts of other states. The district magistrate and SP told her that during 2018 only 13 cases of murder and 45 cases of rape of ‘Anusuchit Jati’ people were registered. Appropriate compensation was given to the victims and 248 other cases were registered in connection with clashes over different issues, she added.
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