In a regressive move, Savitribai Phule Pune University will make only those students eligible for gold medals who are vegetarian and do not consume alcohol.
The circular released by the university has listed down ten conditions for the prestigious – Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold medal.
Other conditions mentioned in the list are equally weird. Firstly, the student should believe in Indian culture, tradition and practice all these values in his daily life. Secondly, the student should also be versatile in activities like dancing, singing, eloquence, and theatre.
Most importantly, students who practice yoga and pranayama and meditation will be given preference.
The university has received a lot of backlashes since the eligibility criteria were released. To defend themselves, they put the blame on the sponsors of the award.
The medal is sponsored by the trust and family members of Yog Maharshi Ramchandra Gopal Shelar, alias Shelar Mama. The truth is that the circular is old and re-issued every year with no change in the content.
This is just a way of ensuring only brahmins get d scholarship
— hindihainhum (@kabirazad2017) November 10, 2017
This is an insult on the memory of Savitribai Phule
— depalan (@depalan) November 10, 2017
— Shifa Shaikh (@shiiffff) November 11, 2017
Arvind Shaligram, the registrar of SPPU, trying to pacify this matter, said,
The gold medals are generally instituted from some donations received from donors. One of the donors had made some conditions. Since all the awards are sponsored by outsiders, we follow their terms and conditions.
I ask, what has happened to our universities?