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IIT-M row: SC panel summons HRD sec, IIT director

The national scheduled castes panel on Tuesday issued notices to Union HRD Secretary and IIT-Madras Director asking them to appear before it on June 8 amid a political row over de-recognition of a students' body comprising mostly dalits.

June 02, 2015 / 09:47 PM IST

The national scheduled castes panel on Tuesday issued notices to Union HRD Secretary and IIT-Madras Director asking them to appear before it on June 8 amid a political row over de-recognition of a students' body comprising mostly dalits.


In the midst of bitter face-off, IIT-M authorities held talks with the students group Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) in a bid to end the confrontation that has left the campus in turmoil and decided to convene a meeting of its Board of Students later this week or early next week to discuss the controversial de-recognition.


The National Commission for Scheduled Caste's notice came after IIT-M defended its action against APSC in response to a notice sent by the panel in which the institute said there was no curtailment of "freedom of speech" or imposition of ban on any student organisation.


It claimed the registration of student organisation was "withheld temporarily" as it had issued pamphlets and put up posters publicly with the name of IIT-Madras, in violation of the norms.


The Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of the de-recognition of the student body last week for allegedly violating the institute's code of conduct following a complaint that it was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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"We have issued notices to the Union HRD Secretary and IIT-M Director calling them for a discussion on the case on June 8.


The notices were issued on Tuesday," NCSC sources told PTI in Delhi. Meanwhile, IIT-M authorities met representatives of the APSC in Chennai for an amicable end to the tussle.


The students body insisted on a rollback of the action against it and an apology during the talks.


At the meeting held after staging a protest earlier in the day, members of the APSC put forth a five-point charter of demands including its re-recognition and "unconditional apology from the Dean (Students) for misuse of official power."

The other demands included 'overturning' the 'undemocratic' code of conduct which was against Article 19 (a) Freedom of Expression, officially recognising all independent student bodies and providing democratic space and equal privileges like hall, IITM official mail account to all of them, an official statement from IIT-M said. 

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