Central govt criticised for appointing ex-ABVP chief to Hyderabad University’s executive council

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The controversy over the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula may have died down, but the Hyderabad University has hit the media headlines, once again for wrong reasons.

Students have accused the Centre’s BJP-led government of carrying out saffronisation of education after an ex-ABVP president was appointed to the executive council of the University of Hyderabad.

Dr O Srinivas Reddy was appointed to the executive council by President Pranab Mukherjee on 8 February in his capacity as the Visitor of the University of Hyderabad.

According to Indian Express, Dr Reddy was president of ABVP of the Greater Hyderabad Unit from 1990 to 1991. He is also the chairman of Saraswathi Vidya Nilayam at Suryapet which is run on RSS principles.

“The BJP at (the) Centre is playing games with students’ lives. What does it mean to appoint a person with political leanings to the executive council?” a member of the Students JAC for Social Justice said.

“We do not want politicians in our committees and constituted bodies. This kind of appointments curb academic freedom,” a statement said, condemning the appointment.

The Union HRD Minister, Smriti Irani and her cabinet colleague Bandaru Dattatreya were widely condemned for the death of Rohith as letters written by the former appeared to suggest that she had pressurised the university administration to expel the Dalit scholar.