Now, caste bias in JNU too, says Dalit student

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New Delhi, Jan 27: Just a few days after a PhD scholar threatened of committing suicide, several more have come to the fore complaining of discrimination inside the campus.

The scholar said that he would commit suicide if he did not get a clearance for one-year extension of his fellowship. Meanwhile, JNU authorities said that there has been some issues with a particular centre and a meeting has been called on February 8 to resolve the problem.

JNU

PhD scholar Madan Meher had written to the vice-chancellor that caste discrimination was going on at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament under the School of International Studies. Hailing from Sambalpur district, he has written 2 books presebted 14 national and international conference.

He said,"OBC, SC and ST students are eligible for Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship and there is no test for that. But we were dissuaded from applying in a very subtle manner. We were told we are good for nothing and were getting free fellowship."

He further added,"Therefore, I applied for Junior Research Fellowship and got it. I completed MPhil under nonNET category. Now for PhD field work, we are allowed to travel to a foreign country. But the centre asked me to submit my work without the field work. A committee is set up for selection of the field work and I was selected in the first category. The university gave me the money. But the centre delayed the process, asking me to re-draft my papers. The delay cost me my field trip and I could not go to Brussels in 2013."

He further alleged," had Rs 66,000 with me, the money the university gave for the Brussels trip. I spent it on my grandmother, had a paralytic attack, thinking I could anyway repay from my Senior Research Fellowship, which was hiked to Rs 28,000 per month in 2013. But my centre de-registered me."

"I was denied the fellowship because of a 16-month gap, for which the centre is responsible as it has deregistered me. Even the University Grants Commission said I can be given the grants with approval of the VC. Even when the VC is fine with me getting the grants, the centre is creating hurdles."

There are many like Meher, who are still waiting to get a degree or start work. Kavita Patel, for instance, has been waiting since last October for her registration as she scored 4.66, while the minimum requirement is 5 to be eligible for writing a dissertation.

She further said,"Students who score between grade 4 and 5 are allowed to write a test. This was a resolution passed by the academic council of the university in October 2015. All other centres have implemented this but my centre simply refuses to do so, and I am still waiting. When I applied for reevaluation, even before the process started, I was told that nothing will come out of it. I am from a poor family, and without the financial aid, I can't survive in JNU. And that is exactly how Dalits are being shunted out of the centre, by turning their life into hell."

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