By Amrita Singh:
On August 30, 2016, University Grants Commission (UGC) issued a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University (PU), demanding the immediate removal of the university’s registrar, Dr M Ramachandran and asking for the implementation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act in PhD admissions. Apparently, the letter came after a faculty member of the university sent an email to UGC complaining about the registrar’s inaction regarding the non-compliance of the CEI Act in the university for PhD courses.
The CEI Act, which is allegedly being violated in the university, states that “out of the annual permitted seats for a branch of study or faculty, 15% seats shall be reserved for SCs, 7.5% seats for STs and 27% for OBCs.” The university has already received two notifications from the UGC asking for an explanation regarding the same and their answer to both the notices have been the same. They have pointed out that reservations are not possible in a department where there are only two seats. Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) has been protesting against the violation of this act since the past 7 months.
According to a source, another protest took place on campus on September 24. ASA and Radical Students Forum rallied from the library of the university till the administration block, demanding the implementation of the directives in the letter. This was followed by a ‘dharna’ at the administration block, which lasted till 2 p.m. Members of the university’s student council and the Students Federation of India also joined the protest, which saw a turnout of 200 people.