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IIT Madras row: Protest held outside HRD ministry office

PTI 01 Jun 2015, 17:10:55 PM IST

New Delhi:  A protest over the issue of de-recognition of an IIT-Madras students' group was today held outside HRD Ministry's office here by Left-backed associations and unions which slammed the Centre for allegedly issuing the "diktat" that prompted the move.

Accusing the Ministry of Human Resource Development of issuing the "diktat" that led the authorities at the premier technical institute to ban the students' group, the protesters said they plan to intensify their demonstrations against the action.

IIT-Madras is in the eye of a storm over de-recognition of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) -- several of whose members are Dalits on Friday following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

"APSC was de-recognized as per an HRD Ministry diktat, which said it could not politicise the campus.

"We feel there are other groups, too, which conduct programmes that politicise the campus. Why does the ministry have objection to APSC, which talks about education, system, contemporary issues?" president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union, Ashutosh Kumar, said during the protest outside the HRD Ministry office at Shastri Bhawan.

The demonstrators alleged that the BJP-led government has launched an "unprecedented" attack on the education sector as it is trying to paint it in a "certain" colour which suits its political ideology.

"Education is being painted in a certain colour.

At least in the sector of education, there should be no government influence. It has to be autonomous. But (HRD Minister) Smriti Irani, this Modi government, have launched an attack on education.

"They think education is the medium through which they can impose their ideology," said the JNUSU president.

He added that they will reach out to other colleges with a view to involving more people for demonstrations over other issues affecting the sector.

Besides JNUSU, students' bodies from Jamia Milia Islamia University and Left organisations took part in the protest. Activists of the All India Students' Association, too, took part in the protest.