Amid CAA protests, IIT-Bombay asks staff to avoid remarks that could embarrass ties with govt
As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) grow in strength at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), the administration has asked its employees to act according to its code of conduct and not make statements that may be construed as criticism of the Central government.
IIT-B has not taken any disciplinary action against those participating in the protests, which began on January 5, after violence erupted at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and resulted in 26 (including students and teachers) getting injured.
On January 9, IIT-B’s administration issued a circular asking staff and employees to refrain from making public statements that could “embarrass the relations” of the institute with the Central government.
The circular quoted the service conditions and conduct rules under the IIT Act. It has asked employees to not make statements of fact or opinion which can lead to criticism of any current or recent policy of the institute or can embarrass its relations with the Centre.
Failure to comply with the directions could attract disciplinary action.
Director Subhasis Chaudhuri told HT that the institute remains an apolitical space. “The circular was issued to reiterate the service codes that employees of the institute can’t make any statements in their official capacity,” he said while refusing to comment on whether any disciplinary action would be initiated against faculty members participating in protests.
“The institute may not take a blanket disciplinary action on all protestors, but we are worried that some of us may be targeted for participating in the protests to send a message to others,” said a faculty member on condition of anonymity.
Many senior faculty members have participated in the ongoing silent protest on campus.
On Wednesday, despite the circular, over 1,000 students, faculty members and employees held a march on campus against CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). A 10-day lecture series, titled ‘Preamble’, is being held on IIT-B campus as an ancillary to the protest.