Kerala Varsity Fulfills Dalit PhD Candidate’s Demand, Removes Director

Dalit PHD candidate ,Deepa Mohanan hunger strike who is deepa mohanan
The Mahatma Gandhi University of Kerala on Saturday removed the Director of its Nanotechnology centre, who had allegedly made some casteist remarks against a Dalit PhD candidate Deepa Mohanan.

The student had been on a hunger strike since October 29. She had alleged that the university administration discriminated against her because of her caste and prevented her from completing her degree. She had accused Director Nandakumar of being the major roadblock in her research work.

The University’s Vice Chancellor’s announcement about Director Nandakumar being removed after the Higher Education Minister of state asked the institute to do so. Minister R Bindu had written in a Facebook post, “What we have come to learn now is this. The VC has assured Deepa that she will be able to complete her research without any social or technical hindrance. She would have access to all necessary infra, including library-lab-hostel facilities. The VC himself would act as her guide. Deepa had also been open to these suggestions,” Bindu said.

She also said that both High Court and SC/ST commission has already intervened in the matter and the state government was of the view that the varsity should consider these interventions and resolve Deepa Mohanan’s complaint.
R Bindu said, “The varsity has been asked for an explanation regarding the impediments they are facing in investigating the complaint after removing the accused teacher from office. If the issue is technical, they can provide us with the details of any document required for the purpose.”

“The government is concerned about the student’s health situation. I’m anxious personally as well. As soon as we get an explanation from the university, steps will be taken to ensure justice for Deepa,” the minister added in a series of tweets.

She said that if the institution still does to remove the accused Director then the state government will step and ask the teacher to resign from his post. The minister called it the government’s assurance and asked Mohanan to end her hunger strike.

Mohanan is a 36-year-old PhD candidate who has said that she could have completed her degree in 2015 but she was not given proper access to resources. She had also demanded that her research guide be changed apart from her main demand– removal of Nandakumar from the Director’s post of the International and Inter-University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IIUCNN), from the institute. According to the student, she had been facing caste discrimination for the past 10 years and saw it affecting her studies.

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