Ms. Rajitha, student of 5 year Integrated MA German 2008 batch, who belongs to the ST category, was refused permission to attend her 5th semester classes which commenced this August. She had failed 4th semester exams, and this was stated as a reason for not letting her attend the classes. In her 4th semester there are four courses in which for one she was given ‘F’. In other three courses she has acquired grade ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘E’. Her GPA was below the minimum qualification for promotion. Her verbal appeal to the Controller of the Examinations to let her sit in the classes, or atleast to let her attend the 3rd semester classes were responded to orally by the Controller that he has issued orders to the German Department stating that she can attend the 5th semester classes. This was under the provision of the Supreme Court ruling regarding failed SC/ST/OBC students which categorically mentions that students belonging to SC/ST/OBC category and has failed in upto three subjects should be given a chance by promoting to the next semester.
On grounds of this assurance from the Controller, when the student approached the Head of the German Department, she denied being issued any such order by the Controller. Ms. Rajitha was made to wander between the two offices, with no respite. On 19th August 2010 (Thursday), Ms.Rajitha was intimated by Warden, that she could no longer avail of the mess facilities from 20th August, as she belonged to no course of the University.
Here I quote from the university ordinance (updated version) Point 18.104.22.168.
“For promotion to second semester, a student must obtain at least a ‘D’ grade in minimum 50% of the courses (e.g. 2out of four courses or 3 out of 6 courses) in the first semester.”
According to the Administration, Ms. Rajitha was given a chance to sit in the next semester i.e. third to fourth semester. Along with her, there was another SC student with the same problem. He also was promoted, it was due to Ms. Rajitha coming out and fighting for justice. And this semester she has been targeted by the same Dean of German, and once again she is fighting against the injustice she has to face. Basically Ms. Rajitha was failed in two subjects in third semester, and she was not allowed to sit in class for a month almost. Every day she was sent to Controller of the Examination, Dean of German studies and the VC’s office. Despite repeated written requests from the VC to the Dean of German studies to accept Ms. Rajitha into her 3rd semester, no positive action was taken. Students protested against the decision of the Dean of German studies for not allowing her to sit in next semester. (the earlier case of hers can be read by clicking the link below.. http://tamilnadudalits.blogspot.com/2010/01/appeal-to-end-caste-discrimination-in.html) This case was taken to the Human rights organization too. Yet nothing has happened yet.
In the light of the above mentioned events, the Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minority Students’ Association (DABMSA) hereby reminds the administration of EFLU that the treatment meted out to Ms.Rajitha is in direct contravention of the Supreme Court ruling regarding the promotion of SC/ST/OBC students. Taking into account not just the flouting of rules, but also of the psychological harassment that the student in question and by extension the students of the whole community faces, we demand stern action to be taken against the Dean of German studies, and thereby mend the loss of faith inflicted upon the students of the oppressed sections of the society. We also remind you that this incident is not one of its kind, but rather a routine by the German Department in dealing with its Dalit students. It is to be mentioned here that the same incidents had happened in the last semester, and there was a public outcry against the Department. Nothing came out of it except admitting those students who were not promoted. In the light of the above incident we would like to remind the University that it does not understand the spirit of the Supreme Court order either. The court ruled in the case of Avinash Singh Bagri &ors. Vs Registrar lit Delhi &Anr. On 12 August,2009, I quote
4. It is the case of the petitioners that in spite of providing reservation in higher education like Medical and Engineering streams, no coaching or any other facilities are provided to SC/ST/OBC candidate to enable them to compete with other general category students, as a result of which, more than 90% SC/ST/OBC students are dropped out from these higher courses in first year or second year……. The reservation made by the Central Government/State Governments becomes redundant as no infrastructure is provided to SC/ST/OBC candidates to enable them to acquire bench marks.
The UGC guidelines under Scheme of Remedial Coaching at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Level for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Students and Students Belonging to Minority Communities state:
Remedial Coaching is to be organized at Undergraduate / Postgraduate level with a view to �
a. Improve the academic skills and linguistic proficiency of the students in various subjects.
b. To raise their level of comprehension of basic subjects to provide a stronger foundation for further academic work
c. To strengthen their knowledge, skills and attitudes in such subjects, where quantitative and qualitative techniques and laboratory activities are involved , so that, the necessary guidance and training provided under the programme may enable the student to come up to the level necessary for pursuing higher studies efficiently.
It is surprising that the University conducts Remedial courses for the English but not for foreign languages. The foreign languages undergraduate courses were started by August 2008. Since then, there has been no kind of discussion over the issue.
These rules are neither followed by the University. The saddest part of the story is that in the last semester when the student was admitted after a protest, the administration has not thought of at least reviewing its stance on such academic issues such as introducing remedial class for SC/ST/OBCs. This semester the student has around 99% attendance in each course, except those days she was not allowed to sit in the class. There is a reasonable doubt that the girl was failed in the subject tutored by the Dean of German, who rejected her in last semester and who has again refused her to promote her.
EFL-University is a newly formed university. Earlier it was called as Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL) and had post-graduate course and research. After CIEFL becoming a central University, the administration introduced new courses for undergraduate B.A honors’ in all streams. It is the fact that since its introduction there is a huge outcry from the students at the beginning of every semester that they have been failed in the previous semesters, and the majority of students who face these problems are from the SC/ST/OBC background, in particular from the German department where they have been rejected promotion on the grounds that they haven’t met the minimum academic requirements.
The administration cannot just follow the rules by implementing the Reservation policy in the admission procedure. Here I quote from the Supreme Court order again on the same before quoted..
“…..learned counsel appearing for the petitioners strenuously submitted that there is no use in providing reservation in higher education/higher courses in IIT, Medical and Engineering streams when no extra facilities are provided to SC/ST/OBC candidates to enable them to compete with other general category students. He also contended that no extra coaching or facilities are provided to them in these higher category students.”
In the light of remedial coaching not being provided to the SC/ST/OBC students, the Supreme Court ruling of “a chance” does not apply to the above mentioned case. Therefore, the student deserves not just admission to the classes but also extra coaching from the authorities to all SC/ST/OBC students. By denying her admission, the administration is in fact trying to veil its gross irresponsibility towards the students from the oppressed sections of the society.
We request all the readers to extend their support to fight this case and provide justice for the tribal girl.
If anybody has a speculation of the case please write or find it out.