Members in Rajya Sabha today expressed concern over India’s premier university BHU imposing restrictions on eating of non-vegetarian food and using internet in hostels, saying it reflected the “high- handed” attitude against students in central universities.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Ali Anwar Ansari (JD-U) said nine students were suspended by BHU who had a year ago demanded round-the-clock access to cyber library and had sat on protest dharna.
FIRs were lodged against the students who had protested against the Vice Chanellor denying permission to cyber library when two group of students clashed on the university campus, he alleged.
While boys can eat non-vegetarian food in the hostels, girls were barred from doing so, he said listing out the restrictions placed on girls including returning to the hostel by 8 pm and banning the use of mobile phones after 9 pm.
Internet access is allowed for boys for 24 hours a day but girls are barred from the same, he alleged, saying the University’s orders were “Trump-like.”
He said similar high-handedness was being witnessed in JNU also where 15 students were suspended for protests.
Students at JNU are protesting against UGC notification of PHD admissions based on performance in interviews only, without giving weightage to written exams.
While Tapan Sen (CPI-M) said central universities are new grounds of “experiments”, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said government should be seriously take note of the arbitrary rule changes.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the government does not interfere in day-to-day functioning of universities and the issue should not be politicised.
He said if there were any specific incident, it can be brought to the notice of the government and the concerned minister will be intimated.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the member has raised a specific issue and the HRD Minister should see if there is any discrimination.
Anand Sharma (Cong) said this was not a small matter and the concerns should be conveyed to the HRD Minister. Also, the autonomy of the central universities should be protected, he added.