THOUGH THE Supreme Court had issued a judgment on December 15, 1995 that “the National Awards do not amount to ‘titles’ within the meaning of Article 18(1) of the Constitution of India and they should not be used as prefixes or suffixes,” many institutions of Pune and Ahmednagar continue to violate the law and are running institutions with names carrying titles like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
The institutions include Padma Shree Dr DY Patil College of Architecture (Akurdi); Padmabhushan Dr Vasantdada Patil of Architecture (Mulshi); Padma Shree Dr DY Patil Institute of Management Studies (Nigdi Pradhikaran); Rayat Shikshan Sanstha’s Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar College (Aundh); Padma Shree Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation’s College of Physiotherapy (Ahmednagar); Padma Shree Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation’s College of Pharmacy (Ahmednagar); Padma Shree Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation’s College of Engineering (Ahmednagar)and Padma Shree Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation’s Institute of Business Management and Rural Development (Ahmednagar).
The SC order also stated that “if the aforesaid is done, the defaulter should forfeit the National Award conferred upon him or her by following the procedure laid down in Regulation 10 of each of the four notifications creating these National Awards.”
Delhi-based social activist Naresh Kadyan had recently lodged a complaint with the online grievance cell of the Ministry of Home Affairs alleging contempt of court by various educational institutions in Pune named after Vikhe-Patil and DY Patil. In his complaint, Kadyan has demanded that “recognition and affiliation of all such institutions be cancelled and they should be debarred from conducting an examination.”
Other institutes that run under the name of DY Patil with Padma Shree as suffix include Dr DY Patil College of Applied Arts and Crafts; Dr DY Patil College of Agriculture Business Management; Dr DY Patil Institute of MCA; Dr DY Patil Institute of MBA; and Dr DY Patil Institute of Engineering, Management and Research. All the institutes are in Akurdi, Pune and websites of all these institutes display names of the institutes with Pad, an abbreviation of Padmashree. The institutes are approved by the AICTE, recognised by DTE and affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University.
“If Ministry of Home Affairs fails to take immediate strict and legal action against all offenders then I shall be moving Contempt of Court petition. All the sign boards, hoardings that have names with national awards should be removed and likewise, such websites should be blocked,” said Kadyan, adding, “It is not the fault of the National Awardees but of those who are running these institutes.”
Anil Patil, secretary of Rayat Shikshan Sanstha, said, “Our institute is approved by the UGC, Pune University and the government. If we get an order to change the name from the government, we will follow the procedure.”