New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) A week after having threatened to commit suicide over not getting his research grant extended, a Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar on Wednesday complained of discriminiation, adding he is still waiting the vice chancellor’ response.
Authorities, however, said he needs to first settle the previous balance, as he was allotted money for a field trip to Brussels (Belgium). But he did not go for that.
In a letter sent to Vice Chancellor S.K. Sopory on last Thursday, Madan Meher had threatend to commit suicide in front of administrative bloc of JNU if his research grant was not extended for a year within a week.
He said he is being discriminated against.
“The vice chancellor still has neither responded to my letters nor he has taken any steps. I took admission in the university under general category despite belonging to SC (schedule caste) category through hardwork. I’ve published two books. Still I am facing discrimination in the campus,” Meher told IANS.
Sopory, who demitted office on Wednesday (today), said, “The matter is being looked after by the School of International Studies. They are looking into the matter and will provide necessary details soon.”
Meher, a researcher with the International Organisation (ORG) Division at JNU’s Centre for International Politics Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), was awarded a five-year fellowship in 2011 to complete his Ph.D.
He alleged that CIPOD refused to grant him a year-and-a-four-month extension to complete his Ph.D, even though he had submitted necessary chapters.
A one-year extension is granted to Ph.D scholars if they have completed 90 percent of their work in the four-year period.
Citing an RTI reply, Meher said no Dalit scholar from his department has ever received his/her Ph.D degree.
The office of the Controller of Examination had earlier said that Meher’s grant was not approved because he had not cleared his finances with the university. He was reportedly granted Rs.66,000 for his field trip to Brussels in Belgium in 2013. But he didn’t go.
Hanuman Sharma, JNU controller of examination, said, “The student was allotted money for a field trip to Brussels but he did not go for that.
“Later for around a year-and-a-half he de-registered from his Ph.D. He re-registered only last year in July. His SRF from July can be released once he settles the previous balance. He needs to get clearance from his supervisor.”
Rama Naga, general secretary, JNU Students Union (JNUSU) told IANS, that a meeting would be conducted by the (JNUSU) body to discuss the matter on February 8.
As per the scholar’s letter, sent to the JNUSU as well, he was “constantly harassed” and discriminated against because of his caste.
“There are a number of such students who have faced similar harassment in the campus by various centres in JNU. The campus has a history of discriminating against those coming from marginalised communities and women,” Naga said.