Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on Saturday suspended the award of the Shelar Mama gold medal following a row over the eligibility criteria for the applicants. A circular recently reissued by the university listed being vegetarian and a proponent of Indian culture as criteria for bagging the medals, which were instituted in 2006 by a trust in the names of Yogmurthi Rashtirya Keertankar Ramchandra Gopal Shelar and Tyagmurthi Shrimati Saraswati Ramachandra Shelar.
Vice-Chancellor Dr Nitin Karmalkar on Saturday reiterated that the university had no role in formulating the criteria — set by the Shelar family and agreed upon by the university management council way back in 2006.
“The medal was approved by the management council in 2006. Since the matter has come to the fore only now, we will take this opportunity to rectify the same,” he said at a press meet.
While officials maintained that the university did not judge students based on dietary habits, efforts were on to contact the Shelar family and bring alterations in the criteria.
“If they disapprove, we will scrap this medal completely,” added Karmalkar. The university has decided to form a committee to review the conditions and criteria all of its 40 existing medals and awards, presented at the annual convocation.
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