Casteist remarks against Ph.D candidate: MG varsity removes nanotechnology centre director

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The Mahatma Gandhi University here on Saturday removed the Director of its Nanotechnology centre, who had allegedly made some casteist remarks against a Ph.D candidate.

Deepa P Mohanan, a Dalit PhD candidate at the MG University, has been on a hunger strike since October 29, alleging that her doctoral studies have been delayed due to caste discrimination by certain varsity officials.

The Vice Chancellor has informed the media that Director Nandakumar was removed as per the instruction of the state government.

Earlier in the day, Higher Education Minister R Bindu said the state government had intervened to ensure that MG university authorities stand by the student, look at the issue from her perspective, and resolve her concerns accordingly.

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“What we have come to learn now is this. The VC has assured Deepa that she will be able to complete her research without any social or technical hindrance. She would have access to all necessary infra, including library-lab-hostel facilities. The VC himself would act as her guide. Deepa had also been open to these suggestions,” Bindu said.

She added both the High Court and the SC/ST commission had earlier intervened in the issue in response to the students complaints and the government was of the view that the varsity, after considering these interventions, should take efforts to resolve her complaint as soon as possible.

“The varsity has been asked for an explanation regarding the impediments they are facing in investigating the complaint after removing the accused teacher from office. If the issue is technical, they can provide us with the details of any document required for the purpose.” “The government is concerned about the students health situation. Im anxious personally as well. As soon as we get an explanation from the university, steps will be taken to ensure justice for Deepa,” the minister said in a series of tweets.

Bindu said if the decision to replace the accused teacher continues to remain pending, authorities will be specifically instructed to ask the teacher to step down and requested the student to consider this as an assurance from the side of the government and withdraw from the strike.

The 36-year-old student has been on a hunger strike demanding access to resources needed to complete her PhD, a change in her research guide, and the removal of Nandakumar, the director of the International and Inter-University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IIUCNN), from the institute.

She has alleged that Nandakumar has been hampering her research work. The university had on November 1, promised to fulfill all her demands except removal of the director, following which she continued her protest.

Deepa Mohanan claimed that for the last ten years, her studies were affected due to the actions of the director of the institute, allegedly because she is a Dalit.

The Congress party had come out in support of the student.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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