Controversial ‘Shelar mama’ gold medal will not be given out: Nitin Karmalkar
Vice-chancellor of the varsity, Nitin Karmalkar, during a press conference on Wednesday, revealed that although the family trust that instituted the award agreed to abandon the controversial clauses, the lack of a stable committee to reform the clauses has pushed them to delay giving the medal.pune Updated: Jan 17, 2018 23:26 IST
Following the controversy surrounding the'H V P Yogmaharshi Rashtriya Kirtankar Ramchandra Gopal Shelar ' gold medal, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has now decided not to give out that particular medal during its upcoming convocation this month.
Back in November, the circular released by the varsity revealed clauses for applicants that demanded students be vegetarians, teetotallers and also practice yoga.
Vice-chancellor of the varsity, Nitin Karmalkar, during a press conference on Wednesday, revealed that although the family trust that instituted the award agreed to abandon the controversial clauses, the lack of a stable committee to reform the clauses has pushed them to delay giving the medal.
“We reached out to the kin of Shelarmama, in whose name the medal was constituted, as well as members of the trust responsible in instituting the medal and the clauses 10 years ago. We put forth that we have to scrap the said clauses so as to not discriminate and they agreed. However, this is not enough, there is a due procedure that we have to follow, which involves proper investigation by the academic council and the management council, to make necessary changes and reforms. As we were unable to complete all these stages, the medal will not be given out in the convocation,” said Karmalkar.
The '’Shelar Mama' gold medal, as it is colloquially known, is given to students for excelling in science and has existed for the past 10 years. However, the clauses, being claimed as discriminatory, had created a stir among students after the university, as per the annual practice, put up the circular inviting applications on October 31, 2017.
In addition to this medal, some 40 more medals came under review following the controversy, but the vice-chancellor confirmed that the other medals will be distributed as done annually.“The other 40 medals have been reviewed by our committee and we have found no objectionable clauses there. So, those medals will be awarded during this year’s convocation,” Karmalkar added.