Students at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) who had applied for post-graduate courses in Sanskrit after having read an advertisement issued by the university saying graduate-level knowledge in the language was not a criterion, are now protesting after the university said it was issued by mistake. Students are now demanding that the university admit those who have not studied Sanskrit as a subject in their graduation.
The university has said students cannot be allowed to do post-graduation in a subject in which they don’t have graduate qualifications. The protesting students are claiming that the university has changed its admission criteria mid-way through the admission process, leaving the fates of many hanging in the balance.
“The admission advertisement put out by the Sanskrit Department said the admission criteria was graduation in any subject and knowledge of Sanskrit language. Students paid Rs 350 and filled out the forms, but now the university is saying that only those students who have taken Sanskrit language at HSC will qualify. They should have made it clear in their admission advertisement itself, why change policies mid-way?” asked a student.
This comes a week after Pune Newsline reported that the Hindi Department of SPPU had denied admissions to those who had not studied the language in their graduation. Students had protested against the decision, saying that university rules allow them to take up MA courses in any subject, even if they have not studied it in their graduation.
Students have successfully lobbied the university to revise its admission policy and admit those who have not majored in Hindi at the graduate level. However, in the case of Sanskrit admissions, the university has not indicated that it would support this demand..
The students have found support from the RSS student wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad, whose members met vice-chancellor N R Karmalkar, demanding that applicants be given seats irrespective of their formal qualification in Sanskrit, since the department is likely to face a vacancy of seats, given the less number of applications from eligible candidates.
However, the vice-chancellor has made it clear that he will stand by the department’s decision in this case. “Even if the department made a mistake in issuing the admission notice, the students cannot take advantage of that loophole and demand seats in Sanskrit if they have not formally studied the language. It is quite silly to think that someone can be allowed to do a post-graduation in the subject in which they don’t have basic qualification. Hence, we will ensure that correct admission criteria is applied,” he said.
The Sanskrit Department offers several MA, diploma and certificate courses in Sanskrit linguistics, translation studies and manuscriptology, among others.