New Delhi: Two students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have been suspended for six months, for going on a hunger strike and speaking to the media “irresponsibly”.
The PhDs students — Vikrant Singh and Himanchal Singh — were protesting against the administration’s decision to make a suspended faculty member vacate his official accommodation.
A notice sent Tuesday to the students stated that they “indulged in misinterpretation of facts in print and electronic media related to the institute without proper verification, resulting in defamation of the institute”. However, the notice did not elaborate on the details of the conversation with mediapersons, or the nature of “misrepresentation of facts”.
“You sat on an indefinite hunger strike which interfered with the operations of the institute. Though notice for discontinuing the indefinite hunger strike was issued, you continued with the hunger strike,” read the notice, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint.
“You also indulged in misinterpretation of facts (for e.g. in print & electronic media) related to the institute without proper verification resulting in defamation of the institute.
“You are kept under suspended academic expulsion from the institute for one semester, which will be applicable any time during your stay at IIT Guwahati.”
The students have also been “debarred from representing the institute at any level for the entire duration” of their study. They can also not contest for any student body posts at the institute.
While both Vikrant and Himanchal refused to speak to the media after the suspension notice, one of them confirmed on the condition of anonymity that they plan to challenge the suspension in court.
Text messages and calls to IIT Guwahati Director T.G. Sitharam remained unanswered. This report will be updated when he responds.
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Faculty says students did nothing wrong
Vikrant and Himanchal had gone on a hunger strike in January this year, protesting against the administration’s order asking Brijesh Rai, their suspended teacher, to vacate his official residence before the time limit of four months.
Rai, who was posted as an assistant professor at the institute, was suspended in November 2019 after he alleged corruption at the institute. He was then asked to vacate his official residence earlier than the time limit for suspended faculty members.
Speaking to ThePrint over the phone, Rai said the allegations against the students were “baseless”. “They were on a hunger strike because the director refused to meet them, and going on a hunger strike is not a crime. Nowhere does it say so in any of the code of conduct manuals. They are simply being punished because they supported me,” he said.
Rai added that the charge of speaking to the media was vague. “The charge of speaking to media holds no ground because they did not speak to the media or misrepresent any fact. The institute’s notice is very vague; it is not even explaining when the students spoke to media or how did misrepresented the institute,” he added.
Also read: High court tells IIT Guwahati to refund Rs 1,500 ‘alumni fee’ to 8 students
Unfortunately, many students in this country use academic institutes as their political launch pad. Technical Institutes have been always kept away from political activities.But, this JNU virus is trying infect premier institutes also.
Infact,most of the students and acaademtian lost between political and academic aspirations project themselves as anti corruption crusader .But, the fact is other way round.Normally,the corruption in these institute is hardly seen.
Suspension of students could have been avoided by themselves as the prior notice was given to them.They should rather thank God that it is only for one semester otherwise they could be thrown out of institute for ever.
These students are P.hD.scholors which itself indicates that either they have joined after some experience in industry for improvement or they were the failures who coin not get a decent job in the industry.They should have behaved more maturely and should have focussed on their academic achievements.
They may go to court and possibly they will get respite also but the blot if suspension will always follow them where ever they go. They will have to make may compromises in their career.Of course they are not very bright students,otherwise IIT Guwahati does not attract too much of academic glamour .So, weighing everything in perspective they should immediately joi soe political party and start doing agitation on road.The wire should follow them and write bigger wrote ups because ,this country does not have any other issue as such.
I think u must be a student of IIT-M or D or B to say IIT-G doesn’t attract too much academic glamour Mr.
Many educational institutions in India are showing rude, arrogant, selfish and cruel behaviour to their students instead of friendly behaviour especially in Tamilnadu. The responsibility of all problems in institutions lies in students only. Why because there is no unity among students itself. Majority of students in any institutions stay indifferent to those activities taken by the institutions. This would give the institutions a plus point to do any cruelty against the students.
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