IIT PhD scholar protests against ‘discrimination’ in IITs in front of education ministry

Sachchidanand Pandey filed plea in the Supreme Court against students’ suicides, opaque faculty recruitment process, discrimination, corruption in IITs.


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IIT PhD scholar is protesting in front of ministry of education against discrimination, harassment against students in IITs (Source: Official Statement)IIT PhD scholar is protesting in front of ministry of education against discrimination, harassment against students in IITs (Source: Official Statement)

Vagisha Kaushik | January 13, 2022 | 06:41 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Sachchida Nand Pandey, a PhD graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, has been protesting since January 7 in front of the ministry of education over the issues of students’ suicides, alleged mental harassment, research-related corruption, and discrimination in IITs.

Earlier, Pandey filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the IITs to follow reservation policy in admissions in research degree programmes, transparent recruitment process, termination of non-performing professors. The top court has only issued a notice on the reservation issue, he told Careers360.

Also Read | ‘It’s a meat-grinder’: Stress and despair at the IITs

Not only the Supreme Court, the education ministry is also silent over these issues even after writing to the education minister, he said. Pandey has also written to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana demanding reasons for the silence.

In his mail to the CJI, Pandey has accused the professors of IITs of having unprofessional, unsocial, and in-humane behaviour towards students. He claimed that in the past few years, around 100 students have died by suicide and over 7,000 left the institutes without completing their studies owing to “professors’ in-human behaviour, highly stressful and terrifying environment created by IITs managements”.

He further criticised the allegedly opaque and discriminatory recruitment practices in the IITs, alleging that they continue to flout reservation policy formed by the government.

Alleging that discrimination against students in IITs is two-fold, on the basis of caste and region, he declared that IITs have hired “incapable and useless quality of faculty”.

“In 2019, the IIT council accepted that over 50% of professors' performance is below the desired level,” he asserted in his mail.

Also Read | IITs witness 50 suicides in 5 years; 14 at IIT Guwahati alone

Pandey went on to talk about the discrimination and harassment allegedly inflicted on him while he was studying at IIT Bombay and Madras. He alleged that he had had his name removed from research, was removed from high-value projects, stopped from attending international conferences, and had his fellowship terminated for a year.

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