March 18, 2017 2:38:27 am
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) registrar, informing him that it would withdraw funds to its Centre for Social Discrimination & Exclusion (CSDE) after March 31. Centres studying social discrimination in other universities are also purportedly going to meet the same fate, as per orders issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
The letter dated March 6, signed by the UGC under-secretary, stated, “I am directed to inform you that UGC will not provide financial support to the centre after the end of XIIth Plan as per the order received from MHRD.”
Commenting on the move, Delhi University Professor N Sukumar — who has done extensive work on social exclusion and caste — said, “These Centres are multi-disciplinary, and a lot of research revolves around caste and gender issues, and policy issues such as reservation. UGC doesn’t want to fund such Centres because studying about caste is not important for it; speaking for discrimination is of no interest to the UGC. They have their own cultural agenda.”
Sukumar alleged that 35 such Centres were under the scanner across the country, and argued that it wasn’t because the UGC was cash-strapped. JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar did not respond to calls, while CSDE Chairperson Y Chinna Rao could not be reached for a comment on account of being out of the country.
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