The Indian Science Congress (ISC), planned to be held at Osmania University from January 3-7, is likely to be postponed. For the first time in 100 years, this international event may not be held as per schedule. The event that is on the Prime Minister's calendar was deferred anticipating protests from students of Osmania University. The university expressed its inability to host due to "disturbances on its campus and other reasons".
The ISC's postponement was conveyed in a communique from the Ministry of Science and Technology, based on information received from Dr Achyut Samanta, General President of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), reported The Indian Express.
According to the report, security officials anticipated protests from students of Osmania University against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of Dalits and minorities, and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao over lack of government recruitment in the newly formed state. However, the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof S Ramachandran was unaware of the postponement. Also, he declined to comment when asked if alternative venues were being considered.
Tempers are running high among students in Osmania University, where a 21-year-old MSc (Physics) student Eramina Murali committed suicide on December 3. Murali wrote in his suicide note that he was unable to cope with academic stress, but students claimed it was a result of the anger and discontent over lack of government jobs after the creation of Telangana.
"The Osmania University, which was established in 1917, is celebrating the centenary year and if the prestigious Science Congress is held outside the campus, it would be not only an insult but also draw a tremendous amount of criticism," an official said. "So nothing is decided yet."