August 21, 2016 | By Anubhuti Vishnoi, ET Bureau
New Delhi | Source: Economic Times | (August 21, 2016): Kept under wraps so far by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the report of the two member Fact Finding Committee on the Rohith Vemula suicide at the Central University of Hyderabad details the “gaps in several processes” in the inquiry against Vemula and the other four students, “the obvious fault lines” at university, “academic demoralisation and social isolation” of students on campus, lack of student grievance handling mechanism and the failure of the University officers to stay in dialogue with protesting students. It also records the lack of pressure felt by the University by the HRD ministry’s controversial communications on the matter.
ET has accessed the complete report and here are the ‘observations’ made in it:-
· “It has emerged from the depositions and the documentary records that there are gaps in several processes, including the report of the Senior Medical Officer of the University of Hyderabad, the Proctorial Board inquiry of events of 3rd/4th August, 2015. The Sub Committee of the Executive Council (EC) which was tasked with having an in-depth and comprehensive view on the findings of the Proctorial Board has also not carried out the detailed exercise and has not examined the matter afresh as it was mandated (reportedly due to shortage of time). It was clearly submitted that the Sub-Committee of the EC merely reviewed the documents of the proceedings. It may be pointed out that the Chairman of the EC Sub-Committee has stated that the Dean student’s Welfare was co-opted in the Sub Committee of the EC as a representative of the SC/ST communities. In the light of the above facts combined with the tragic loss of a student’s life being an inter linked issue, it is suggested that the whole matter be re-examined through an appropriate body.”
· “In the oral discussions with the Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Prof Parkash Babu, Dean Students’ Welfare, it has emerged that the UoH had not taken serious cognizance of the letters from MHRD and did not feel any pressure to act because of their reminder letters.”
· “It was reported that there seems to be a trust deficit and a feeling of academic discrimination among some of the students.”
· “The essential institutional redressal mechanisms for handling student grievances and problems seems to be non-functional/defunct and is responsible for enhancing the feeling of deprivation and discrimination among the students from the socially and economically weaker sections. Mechanism for counselling becomes very critical for these students who are likely to be first generation learners from rural backgrounds and likely to face psychological problems of alienation. Hence the University needs to formulate a sound policy which lays emphasis on fostering inclusion among all cross sections of the student community which will dispel any sense of exclusion. These very critical issues were again left unchecked or unresolved for the last several years despite the fault lines becoming very obvious.”
· “A letter from a Member of Parliament in November 2014 also suggests that there are several issues in the University that require urgent action and correction. The University had set up Prof Vinod Pavarala Committee (2008), Krishna Committee and the Justice Ramaswamy Committee (2014) which have examined unfortunate tragic deaths and submitted reports and whose recommendations have not yet been implemented. This is a critical need so that standard procedures are in place to deal with issues of academic demoralization and social isolation.”
· “It was also brought to our notice that for many aspects of University administration, there is a lack of standard operating procedures which give rise of possibility of adhoc decisions leading to serious misunderstandings as well as contorted interpretation on actions taken. This can be avoided if the University lays down clear guidelines.”
· “There are disciplinary matters which also need to be resolved. It was reported that over a few hundred students who have completed their courses of study continue to live in hostels which can cause undesirable disturbances as also deprive bonafide students such facilities/amenities. The administration needs to find amicable solutions to these problems.”
· “Presently, in the give crisis, it was observed that the University officers were not in constant dialogue with the protesting students which escalated the crisis. Though changes of communication through Deans, senior faculty and DSW were being used, these were inadequate and this was further completely blocked after Shri Rohith’s suicide.”
· ROHITH VEMULA:– “The deceased student Mt Vemula Rohith was a PhD scholar with the Centre for Knowledge, Culture and Innovation Studies who had been awarded the CSIR-JRF Fellowship in 2014. According to his PhD Guide/Supervisor, Dr Raghav Reddy, Associate Professor, CKCIS, Rohith was academically bright student who topped in the PhD interview. He had faced the doctoral review committee in August 2015. Earlier to this, it is given to understand that Mr Rohith was pursuing PhD in Animal Silences and had changed his stream of studies for his research as he was interested in the linkages between sociology and sciences.”.
The fact finding report also reveals that the University had set up a fresh committee (15.09.2015) to look into the matter after the final Proctorial Board committee recommended the complete suspension of five students associated with the Ambedkar student Association including Vemula and students protested against this decision. However, this five member committee led by Prof Y A Sudhakar Reddy “pleaded its inability to look into the incident afresh” on 23.09.2015 arguing that the report of the Proctorial Board which is a statutory body cannot be questioned by a non-statutory committee like theirs and that the Executive council is empowered to take appropriate decisions on the appeals submitted by parties concerned. Finally a sub committee of the EC was set up on 20.11.2015.
SOURCE: Full text: Rohith Vemula suicide inquiry report …
(1) Save Our WhatsApp Number 0091-855-606-7689 to your phone contacts; and
(2) Send us Your Name via WhatsApp. Click Here to Send WhatsApp Message Now.
Related Topics: #JusticeForRohith, #RohithVemulaSuicide, Casteism, Indian State