Monday, August 1, 2011

[ZESTCaste] MU announces measures to help SC, ST students

MU announces measures to help SC, ST students
TNN Jul 30, 2011, 05.44am IST

LUCKNOW: Caught in the cross fire between the Bahujan Samaj Party and
Congress, vice-chancellor of the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical
University (CSMMU), Prof DK Gupta, on Friday announced series of
measures to help students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled
Tribes in academics and stop all kinds of discrimination, if any,
against them.

The teaching fraternity comprising of all castes and class welcomed
the steps for SC/ST students, but slammed political parties for
undermining the autonomy of the university and making it a medium to
serve their political interests.

Prof Gupta directed the deans, faculty of medicine and dental
sciences, and heads of all the departments to arrange extra classes
for SC/ST students who find it difficult to keep up with the regular
studies. He said that he has already written to the Medical Council of
India (MCI) to reduce the pass percentage for reserved category
students, as they are selected at a reduced percentage.

The VC said that answer sheets in the examination are coded in such a
way that examiners cannot identify the student whose copy they have
been given to evaluate, hence there is no scope of discrimination. But
still, he said, will implement the policy of having external examiners
for all exams to avoid allegation of discrimination. Prof Gupta said
that that theory answer copy of a student will be checked by two
independent examiners and the mean of two will be awarded to the
student. He also said that university has suggested MCI to split five
grace marks in more than one subject to help SC/ST students pass the
exams. He said that university will also provide financial support to
the students.

The meeting assumes importance in the light of July 26 visit of
Congress MP and chairman of National SC/ST Commission, PL Punia to
CSMMU. Dalits form the core vote bank of the BSP government in UP.
Punia, who is also working to woo dalits in favour of Congress, has
been accusing the state government of not doing enough for dalits.
Punia came to CSMMU following complaints by a section of SC/ST
students that they were deliberately failed in the examinations by

The CSMMU authorities requested Punia to defer his visit, as the
administration is overloaded with work due to ongoing admission
process. But, when Punia refused, CSMMU declared a holiday on July 26
after organising a function in the morning to celebrate 50 years of
affirmative action for SC/ST in India. The university said that the
notice of the holiday was circulated a week before Punia's visit.

Interestingly, instead of CSMMU, the state government and the BSP
issued press release in defence of the university administration and
blamed Punia for politicising academics.

However, Punia arrived as per the announcement and on finding
vice-chancellor's office locked, staged a demonstration and told
reporters that he will take action against the university authorities.

In a bid to save himself from the Commission's wrath, Vice Chancellor
called a meeting of SC/ST teachers, students and employees and heard
their problems.

However, teachers said that examination reforms are the need of the
hour, because students hailing from all the categories face threat of
discrimination. Hence, it would be inappropriate to divide students on
caste lines.

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