New Delhi, Dec 17 (UNI) In response to the calls of Indian Institute of Technology Alumni, students and supporters of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy victims' families, the IIT Delhi today decided to return the sponsorship provided by Dow Chemicals for a three day International Conference to be organised at the institute.
The decision to bar Dow from sponsoring the event was taken after an Institute level meeting between the supporters of Bhopal gas survivors and the authorities at the Institute yesterday, a press release said.
The release claimed that more than 1000 alumni and former faculty members had sent a petition in October to the directors of all the IITs to bar Union Carbide's owner Dow Chemical Company from any partnership or role in the premier institutes.
Learning of Dow's plans of recruitment from IIT-Madras, students and 22 faculty members signed a petition urging the director to bar Dow from recruiting on-campus.
A similar petition was reportedly signed by more than 300 students and faculty members in the IIT-Bombay. Both the IITs cancelled the pre-placement talks scheduled for Dow without giving reasons.
Learning of the plans by the controversial company, IIT-Kharagpur decided not to invite Dow for recruitment. The Chemical Engineering department, which had sought sponsorship from Dow for a departmental cultural festival, decided against seeking support this year despite paucity of funds.
After considerable pressure, the Mechanical Engineering department mysteriously withdrew Dow Chemical's logo from its list of sponsors for a mid December conference.
''The IITs have sent a resounding response to Dow that they can keep their money to themselves,'' said Magasaysay Award winner and IIT alumni Arvind Kejriwal.
''The fun is just beginning. We are looking forward to stonewalling Dow at every step of its way. I'm glad our students and youth had more sense than the elders in the Government,'' he said.
Dow Chemical's recruitment plans in India have run into rough weather, with top-notch engineers shying away from Dow's 10.5 lakh per annum job offers because of Dow's intransigence in the Bhopal gas tragedy matter.
The survivors have begun to build an international opinion against the UPA Government's plans to write off Dow's liabilities in return for the investments in India. School students in Chennai too recently began a campaign to evict Dow from an upscale shopping mall where it has a temporary office.