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Students’ discussion panel de-recognized by IIT Madras for criticizing PM Modi 

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

IIT Madras stirred a controversy by de-recognising a discussion panel for students that apparently tried to spread “hatred” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by mobilizing SC/ST students to question government policies on the use of Hindi and the ban on cow slaughter.

Reportedly, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) made an inquiry after receiving an anonymous complaint against the activities of the Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle (APSC) on the IIT campus. The complainant had enclosed one of APSC’s pamphlets containing a copy of a speech, which criticized PM Modi’s government and its policies.

Times of India reported that the ‘controversial’ pamphlet that the MHRD forwarded was a reproduced speech by a Dravidian University academic, R Vivekandanda Gopal, on the “Contemporary relevance of Dr Ambedkar.” The event was organized by the APSC on the campus. The pamphlet reproduced portions of the speech in which the speaker had criticized the Modi regime for “pro-corporate” policies such as the Land Acquisition Bill and insurance and labor reforms. He had also accused the government of “communally polarizing” people by introducing a ban on cow slaughter and through ‘ghar wapsi’ programs.

As per the report, in the letter addressed to the IIT director dated May 15, Prisca Mathew, under secretary to the government of India, wrote, “I am directed to forward herewith a copy of anonymous letter alleging serious complaints received from students, IIT-Madras along with pamphlet issued by Ambedkar-Periyar study circle on the above mentioned subject and to request that comments of the institute may please be sent to this ministry at an early date.”

The IIT dean (for students), Sivakumar M Srinivasan, on May 24 in a concise email, informed the coordinators of the APSC that they had been “derecognized.”

Members of APSC, upset and enraged at this decision, pointed out that the HRD ministry’s action and the IIT’s decision to ban their activities was based on an anonymous complaint by right-wing groups and that they were denied a hearing. The group questioned that how an ‘anonymous’ letter can represent the majority opinion of the students of IIT-Madras.

“We object to the fact that the dean has derecognized our study circle unilaterally without giving us a fair hearing and an opportunity to represent ourselves. In our interaction with the dean of students, we have been told that our study circle engaged in “controversial activities” and violated the code of conduct of independent student bodies. We are clear in our stand that we have not misused any privileges given by the institute,” said a member of the APSC.

After being banned, APSC can no longer avail the facilities on the campus including the auditoriums for its functions.

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PM Modi Advises Scientists To Use Science to Improve Lives

PM Narendra Modi tells Scientists to use science to improve the lives of citizens

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Modi advises Scientists
Prime Minister Modi tells scientists that science and technology should be used to bettering the lives of citizens. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon scientists to take up challenges in their research for bettering the daily lives of common citizens, especially farmers, help in reaching clean drinking water, solar power to the people, and solving problems such as pollution.

Highlighting the importance of ‘science for society’, Modi said when all “scientists, all citizens, will move forward with this understanding, both the country and mankind will be benefited”.

“To know the connection between science and society, we have to give answers to some questions. Everybody knows the pollution problem due to increased use of plastic. Can our scientists take up the challenge to come up with saleable and cost effective material which can take the place of plastic?” the Prime Minister asked while inaugurating the India International Science Festival through video conferencing from Delhi.

Indian PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi highlights the importance of ‘Science for Society’. Wikimedia Commons

Modi exhorted scientists assembled from India and abroad for the mega event whether they can take up the challenge to find a better way to store energy or electricity.

“Can we get a solution so that the use of solar power can go up, can we come up with an innovation related to battery and other infrastructure to reach electric mobility to the common man?

“Have we thought of doing something in our lab which can improve the lives of crores of people? Can we find a solution to local drinking water problems and reach clean drinking water to the people?” he asked.

Also Read-Vietnam and Australia to Start Collaborating on Science Initiatives

Modi also urged scientists to ponder over whether they can invent something which would cut down healthcare cost, and benefit peasants by increasing their income.

“We have to think how use of science can help in easing the lives of the people,” he said. (IANS)