SC Commission summons AIIMS Director Venugopal

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has summoned Dr P. Venugopal, Director All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to appear before the Commission inquiring into the Thorat report alleging that SC students and teachers were being highly discriminated against on several counts in the premier institute of the country.

NCSC Chairman Buta Singh told UNI here today that the Commission had taken a decision to summon Dr Venugopal to its office as he was ''avoiding appearance before the Commission on one or other pretext.'' Dr Venugopal was called to appear before the Commission thrice- in August, September and again on October 20. Each time, he furnished the Commission with some pretext, that too, only fifteen minutes before the scheduled time for his presence, said Mr Buta Singh.

''We are left with no option but to officially summon Dr Venugopal in our office as the Commission's inquiry is almost complete and awaiting his version only'', Mr singh said.

The Chairman said tomorrow a notice would be officially issued to Dr Venugopal asking him to appear before he Commission within a week.

The Commission is inquiring into the Thorat Committee report on AIIMS which had accused AIIMS Director P Venugopal of ''playing a pivotal role in instigating the anti-quota agitation'' that broke out after the Government decided to introduce 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in the higher educational institutions run by the Government.

The Thorat report prepared by a three-member committee headed by University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson S K Thorat, had also alleged large-scale discrimination against SC/ST students at AIIMS.

But, the AIIMS authorities had 'rejected in totality' the report of the Thorat Committee instituted by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry to inquire into allegations of differential treatment of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes students at AIIMS.

The AIIMS set up a committee of its own on May 24 to review the findings, observations and recommendations of the Thorat Committee report describing its composition as ''biased'' and accusing the members of arbitrarily exceeding its terms of reference.

Instead, an eight-member AIIMS Committee headed by C.S. Pandav also dubbed the Thorat Committee findings as ''biased and unsubstantiated''. It also alleged that the Thorat Committee had acted with a clear prejudice to deliver a misleading report that relies on imaginary facts, flawed methodology and baseless conclusions apparently with the sole purpose of discrediting the AIIMS.


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