As many as 102 complaints had been received related to discrimination against Scheduled Castes (SCs) while 40 such complaints had been received related to Scheduled Tribes (STs) by the UGC from various universities for the year 2015-16, the government said on Tuesday.
Of the 102 complaints related to SCs, 81 have been settled while of the 40 related to STs, 33 have been settled, according to UGC data.
This information was provided to the Lok Sabha in a written reply by Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey.
"The UGC has intimated that it has compiled information on cases related to caste discrimination in universities only for the year 2015-16. As per the information provided by UGC, 102 and 40 complaints, respectively on SC and ST, caste discrimination have been received by it from various universities," the minister said.
According to the data, the maximum 19 complaints related to discrimination against SCs have been received from Banaras Hindu University and all of them have been settled.
A maximum of 10 complaints related to discrimination against STs were recieved from Gujarat University and all the 10 have been settled, the minister said.
Members in Rajya Sabha also expressed concern over BHU imposing restrictions on eating of non-vegetarian food and using internet in hostels, saying it reflected the "high-handed" attitude against students in central universities.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention on Monday, Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) said nine students were suspended by BHU who had a year ago demanded round-the-clock access to cyber library and had sat on protest dharna.
FIRs were lodged against the students who had protested against the Vice Chanellor denying permission to cyber library when two group of students clashed on the university campus, he alleged.
While boys can eat non-vegetarian food in the hostels, girls were barred from doing so, he said listing out the restrictions placed on girls including returning to the hostel by 8 pm and banning the use of mobile phones after 9 pm.
Internet access is allowed for boys for 24 hours a day but girls are barred from the same, he alleged, saying the
University's orders were "Trump-like."
He said similar high-handedness was being witnessed in JNU also where 15 students were suspended for protests.
Students at JNU are protesting against UGC notification of PHD admissions based on performance in interviews only, without giving weightage to written exams.
While Tapan Sen (CPI-M) said central universities are new grounds of "experiments", Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said government should be seriously take note of the arbitrary rule changes.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government does not interfere in day-to-day functioning of universities and the issue should not be politicised.
He said if there were any specific incident, it can be brought to the notice of the government and the concerned minister will be intimated.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the member has raised a specific issue and the HRD Minister should see if there is any discrimination.
Anand Sharma (Cong) said this was not a small matter and the concerns should be conveyed to the HRD Minister. Also, the autonomy of the central universities should be protected, he added.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 07, 2017 22:08:40 IST