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India: Gujarat universities top in caste discrimination

Wednesday 8 February 2017, by siawi3


7 Feb 2017, 04.00 AM IST

Ahmedabad: Gujarat had shaken the nation’s conscience following the Una dalit flogging incident in 2016. Figures from the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) now reveal that universities in Gujarat received the most (46) complaints of caste-based discrimination in 2015-16 among all universities in the country. Indian varsities altogether received 142 such cases.

The state thus accounted for 32.39% of complaints of caste-based discrimination faced by teachers or students from scheduled caste (SC) or scheduled tribe (ST) communities.

In all, 18 universities — four from Gujarat, three from UP, two each from Delhi and Haryana and one each from HP, J&K, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu — registered complaints of discrimination against members of scheduled castes (SCs).

The MHRD figures said 32 complaints of caste discrimination were registered by dalits (members of SCs) in Gujarat. The state thus accounted for 31.37% of the 102 complaints by members of SCs in the 18 universities mentioned above.

Gujarat varsities also topped in caste discrimination against tribals. Nine universities — three from Gujarat and one varsity each in Delhi, J&K, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and UP registered complaints of caste discrimination against members of ST communities.

With 14 complaints, Gujarat accounts for 35% of the country’s 40 complaints of caste discrimination against tribals.

The MHRD figures said of the 32 complaints by dalits in Gujarat, city-based Gujarat University (GU) saw 18 complaints while Rajkot-based Saurashtra University (SU) had nine complaints. Jamnagar-based Gujarat Ayurvedic University received four complaints and Gandhinagar-based Central University of Gujarat registered one complaint.
GU also topped with ten complaints by tribals, followed by Gujarat Ayurvedic University and Surat-based Veer Narmad South Gujarat University which had two complaints each in the academic year 2015-16.
State education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said he is unaware of any such MHRD figures. “These figures came today and I was busy with office work so I could not see them. But I will definitely inquire about it,” Chudasama told TOI. M N Patel, vice chancellor of GU, rejected the MHRD figures and said that not a single incident of caste-based discrimination had taken place at the university.