Friday, March 7, 2008

Letter to the Vice Chancellor University of Hyderabad


University Of Hyderabad

P.O University of Hyderabad Campus, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Pin- 500 046,Ph: 040- 2313 5501



The Vice Chancellor

University of Hyderabad

Sub: Death of Dalit Research Scholar, Mr Senthil, under mysterious circumstances

Ref: No: UH/REG/Stud.Services/07/08 Dated 01/01/08


The Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Teachers forum expresses its deep shock at the tragic demise of the PhD scholar, Mr Senthil. The Forum has taken strong note of the untoward event and in order to pre-empt such happening in the future, the Forum seeks to suggest the following:

  • to technically delink scholarship from performance and to provide a much broader philosophical premise for the grant of scholarship. Salaries and scholarships need not be considered as parallel to one another and scholarships to Dalit students need to be perceived as source of subsistence. The Forum assumes that the Government of India has a responsibility of providing subsistence to all its citizens and it credits the University of Hyderabad for translating this responsibility into action through implementing the scholarship scheme for all students on the campus. As you are aware, Mr Senthil’s scholarship was withdrawn due to his lack of adequate performance in some subjects and this seems to have caused him considerable anxiety. In some sense, withdrawing of subsistence due to non-performance is not morally tenable and therefore the Forum urges the University to revise this short-sighted policy of linking scholarship with performance. Though the latest guideline via letter No: UH/REG/Stud.Services/07/08 does not deny the university fellowship for PhD scholars on the basis of one’s course performance, this useful guideline was completely ignored in Senthil’s case and the Forum perceives this to be a grave omission
  • to make the procedures of allotting supervisors to doctoral candidates transparent in certain departments, so as to facilitate a much more open policy of the University towards various sections of society including Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe doctoral candidates. It is very unfortunate that even after two semesters into his PhD programme, Mr Senthil was not allotted a guide. On the other hand, the approach of open policy is already evident in some departments and schools of the University and needs to be emulated across other schools and departments
  • to expedite the inquiry in order to earn the trust and confidence of the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe community at large which has been shattered by this tragic event. The University should come clean and it should not leave any stains behind this gruesome incident

Even as the Forum expresses its skepticism regarding certain aspects of the culture of University of Hyderabad, it has deep and abiding faith in its scholastic traditions and practices that it has evolved over the years.

We hope you receive these suggestions with equanimity and grace of a public functionary and do the needful.

Thanking You



P.Thirumal,Wilson Naik.B


Vivek said...

The death of Senthil should sensitize faculty members in all universities to the academic difficulties faced by dalits. Many of them are first generation learners and come from rural background. Bearing this in mind i think that the faculty should provide them with adequate support and guidance.

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