Hyderabad Central University to introduce preventive measures against caste discrimination in PhD interviews?

These measures, which have been demanded by the Ambedkar Students’ Association, would be in place by the next admission cycle 
This is what ASA says | (Pic: EdexLive)
This is what ASA says | (Pic: EdexLive)

Following the seven-page report on caste discrimination during PhD interviews released by Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA), Hyderabad Central University (HCU), the Association took to Twitter today, April 8, to announce that the university's Academic Council has taken its report very seriously and has approved structural changes in line with it. 

ASA, via its Twitter account, claimed that the report became the central agenda of the annual Academic Council Meeting, and "far reaching structural changes" were passed as a result.

Details about the meeting
Talking about how the meeting transpired, a spokesperson from the association, on the condition of anonymity, stated, that the Admission Council meeting convened the day before yesterday, April 6, and comprised the president of the HCU Student Union, who is an ASA member; representatives of ASA in the Student Union; a few professors from the faculty and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Basuthkar Jagadeeshwar Rao. “The meeting started after lunch and went on till 8 pm in the night. Our RTI findings, as well as the report, were discussed in great detail.”

The report, they claimed, also garnered a lot of appreciation from the Admission Council members, including the vice-chancellor himself. “All our demands were accepted at the meeting itself,” the spokesperson stated.

The poster released by ASA making the announcement claimed that a committee will look into cases of "gross discriminatory marking" and henceforth, all PhD interviews will be recorded. In the prospectus, the evaluation criteria and weightage will be elaborated.

The association also claimed that each panellist will individually score the candidates and the same will be submitted to the Controller of Examinations. The caste category will not be published in the interview notifications and the interview call list will only have the student's hall ticket numbers, not their names. Lastly, they claimed, "The caste certificates of the candidates will not be verified by the panellists."

“These measures would be in place by the time the next admissions begin,” the spokesperson confirmed.

In a video posted by the handle today, April 8, President of the association, Prajwal Gaikwad, is seen informing a crowd of students that faculty members were in support of their report. "It (PhD interview) is going to be a randomised process to ensure that no more caste discrimination prevails in the interview," he is heard saying.

Positive developments 
Talking about these developments, ASA states that it is a huge victory for the Ambedkarite movement and a big step in ensuring equality on campus. “This is the first time measures like this are being implemented in a public university in India. We believe that this will set a precedent for other higher educational institutions,” the Association claimed. 

When EdexLive reached out to the university for a confirmation on the same, we were asked to expect the university's response by next week. 

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