Union social justice minister Thawarchand Gehlot’s Facebook post announcing hostels at IIT-Indore that will have 60% reservation for backward class students has triggered a row, with students and opposition decrying the discrimination and introduction of the caste system in the institute.
Thawarchand Gehlot announced the release of funds for construction of hostels for the OBC in the IIT-Indore on September 22 this year on his Facebook page.
“@HRDMinistry India me to #castism chat hai #iitindore me bhi applied claps,” a student tweeted from an anonymous account.
Students express dissatisfaction over Gehlot’s decision saying such system of reservation in the hostel is the first-of-its-kind and further cites that no institutes such as IITs, IIMs, and NITs have such reservation.
“Isn’t (this) a discrimination between general, SC/ST and OBC? They (OBC students) have every right to live with general or other higher economically forward castes,” asked Awadhesh Kumar Sharma, president of Gymkhana, the student body of IIT-Indore in reply to the post.
While several students decry reservation system, terming it discriminatory, Gehlot told HT that the remaining 40 per cent will be allotted to another social category.
“None of the IITs, IIMs or NITs has this kind of discrimination or separate accommodation at their campuses. These are institutes of excellence and such behavior should not be tolerated. This may shift the focus on caste instead of merit and talent,” said an IIT-Jodhpur alumnus, who is pursuing another course from IIT-Indore.
Ravi Saxena, a congress spoke person, alleged the BJP of introducing caste system in an educational institute. “This is uncalled for and unconstitutional move by the Union minister,” said Ravi.
IIT-Indore officials refused to comment on the issue, with faculty media coordinator, Nirmala Menon said they were waiting for further clarifications on the decision.
When contacted, Gehlot, an RS member from Madhya Pradesh, said the funds were given following a proposal by IIT-Indore and rubbished claims of discrimination.