Judicial panel to probe Dalit student's suicide

Judicial panel to probe Dalit student's suicide

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has decided to constitute a judicial commission to review the sequence of events and circumstances surrounding the death of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar at the University of Hyderabad.

The move comes after a two-member fact-finding team submitted its report to the ministry, which remained tight-lipped over the contents.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the panel has blamed the varsity authorities of being “insensitive in handling” the entire episode.

The fresh damage control exercise by the ministry also came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence and expressed grief and anguish over the incident while addressing a convocation ceremony of the B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow.

Also, HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to Rohith’s mother and offered condolences.
The ministry stated: “Based on its observations and findings, the ministry has decided to constitute a judicial commission to review the entire sequence of events and the circumstances; and to establish the facts and correctives in the context of the university. The commission will submit its report within 3 months.”

The ministry also announced a host of measures to be brought in place to address the issues faced by the students from disadvantaged social, economic and educational backgrounds in higher educational institutions “comprehensively” and to prevent “such unfortunate incidents in future”.

“There should be zero tolerance for any acts of discrimination on campus. A special charter would be issued to all the higher educational institutions in this regard,” the ministry said.
The HRD ministry, however, did not mention if there was any time frame for bringing these measures on the ground for their effective implementation.

A system created by IIT-Gandhinagar for mentoring students belonging to disadvantaged section will be extended to all the higher educational institutions for its replication.
“The Peer-group Assisted Learning of IIT-Gandhinagar would be extended to all higher educational institutions,” the ministry added.

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