SPPU’s diktat: ONLY ‘vegetarians’ are eligible for ‘Gold medal’, Yogis will get preference

Pune: The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has issued a circular informing the varsity candidates the eligibility for Gold medal’s to be given on the University’s convocation day which is purely based on food-policing.

Though the university denies from discriminating its students eligible for gold medal based on food policy, it has issued a circular on 31 October informing the departments of conditions of eligibility for Tyagmurti Shrimati Saraswati Ramchandra Shelar Gold Medal which is sponsored by the Trust and family members of Yog Maharshi Ramchandra Gopal Shelar.

According to the circular, one of the eligibility criteria for the gold medal is that the student must be a “vegetarian and teetotaller”, apart from being a traditional believer in Indian culture. A student who practices his beliefs in his daily life along with indulging in other activities like dance, singing, eloquence and theatre.

PC: Indiatimes

The gold medal is given yearly to students who have completed their post- graduation in science and non-science stream students on merit bases.

The Circular read, “Student who practices yoga and pranayama and meditation will be given preference” which is told is as an old circular constituted in 2006 by Trust members said registrar of SPPU Arvind Shaligram.

He said: “Since the gold medal is given every year, the circular is re-issued every year and the content of the circular remains same and only date changes.

“As far as setting up the terms and conditions in the circular, the varsity has nothing to do with this as the terms and conditions in the circular were not drafted by the university. All these terms and conditions were drafted and given to varsity by the trust of yog maharshi Shelarmama then, who then wanted to constitute the gold medal in the name of the Yog Maharshi,” he clarified.

The varsity will be having discussions with family members of the trust over the criterion.

In a statement issued the SPPU said that it does not differentiate its students based on food habits.

Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray replying on the eligibility criterion said: “This diktat should be withdrawn. Focus on studies instead. Rather than bothering about who eats what, pay attention to how students will get jobs.

Adding, “I agree that the criterion should specify that a student should not have any vices. But ‘only vegetarian’ criterion is incomprehensible. Are you running a university or have you opened a restaurant” further adding that, “Give a gold medal to those who issued this diktat and dismiss them.”