WITH THE upcoming Budget session likely to be stormy over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University, the government has decided to reach out to all the central varsities to discuss ways to eliminate discrimination against students from disadvantaged sections of society.
The Union HRD Ministry has convened a meeting of 46 vice-chancellors of all the universities on February 18 in what is being viewed as an attempt by the government to preempt Opposition attack on the issue in Parliament.
Opposition parties have repeatedly raised questions over the role of Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and also attacked HRD Minister Smriti Irani over the incidents related to Vemula’s suicide.
Earlier, after the massive outrage over the PhD scholar’s suicide at the Hyderabad university, the HRD Ministry had said a programme will be launched to sensitise academic administrators about understanding and handling problems faced by socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged students.
The HRD ministry has also announced that all wardens, administrative staff and registrars would be compulsorily put through an orientation programme for which a special module will be prepared. It had also declared that a special mechanism would be set up at the ministry for receiving and taking expeditious action on the grievances from students belonging to disadvantaged sections.
The Opposition parties have been gunning for Dattatreya and the Irani over their alleged role in the Hyderabad student’s suicide. Vemula had committed suicide on January 17, triggering protests and outrage across India and bringing into focus the problems faced by students of SC/ST and other backwards communities in institutions of higher education.