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BU denies gold medal, students outraged

Bengaluru, DH News Service Feb 9 2018, 0:35 IST
Students gherao Prof Shivaraju, Registrar (Evaluation), demanding gold medals, on Thursday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

Students gherao Prof Shivaraju, Registrar (Evaluation), demanding gold medals, on Thursday. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

What should have been a proud moment for students at the 53rd convocation of Bangalore University turned out to be a disappointment.

Some of them, who found their names in the varsity's official list as gold medal winners, instead received cash awards, while a few others found the subject incorrect on their certificates.

As the convocation ceremony ended, students surrounded Vice Chancellor in-charge V Sudesh, Registrar (Evaluation) Shivaraju and Registrar B K Ravi at the lunch stall, demanding an explanation.

"Our names were mentioned against the endowment award we were supposed to receive in the list of rank holders and award winners," a student said. "The list said we'd be getting gold medals, but we instead got cash prizes."

In the certificate, the words 'gold medal' had been scratched out and in its place 'cash prize' was printed, the student said.

Those like Tausif K M, who had completed his MCom, found incorrect mention of their subjects in the certificates. Tausif was shocked to see the certificate erroneously proclaiming him a graduate of 'Home Science, Psychology and Sociology'.

Responding to the students' complaints, Registrar Shivaraju said endowment awards for gold medals exist in several departments and these are quite apart from the regular gold medals given by the varsity to first-rank holders.

The endowments were created as fixed deposits several years ago and the interests are insufficient to cover the cost of a gold medal. So, the varsity could get only 33 gold medals from endowments that fetched sufficient interest, he said.

"We had to convert 111 of the endowments into cash prizes and had informed the colleges about it," Shivaraju said.

Sudesh said the varsity asked students to pay Rs 500 for the medals since the endowments cannot cover the cost. But resistance from students forced the varsity to withdraw the requirement and turn the medals into cash prizes.

Sudesh also assured the students that the varsity would correct the errors in the certificates in three days.

In 2017, students raised a similar complaint when they were awarded cash prizes instead of gold medals.

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