Ministry of Education asked to intervene over lack of support for SC and ST students at IIT Bombay

Mumbai: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has issued a notice from the Ministry of Education and IIT Bombay in response to a complaint made by the Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) to IIT-B. The APPSC in June had filed a complaint with several authorities, including the NCST, asking it to review the inadequate mental health support system present for students from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at IIT.

The complaint was filed after the head counselor at the IIT Bombay Student Welfare Center was accused of having anti-reservationist sentiments based on her social media posts. “Students do not feel safe or comfortable talking about their mental health issues to such a person who shares their caste views against a constitutional provision for representation from underrepresented (sic) communities,” the statement reads. email filed by the APPSC.

After receiving the complaint, the National Commission on Scheduled Tribes decided to look into the matter under Section 338A of the Indian Constitution and requested the Ministry of Education to provide information on action taken against the allegations. within 15 days of publication of the notice. If the department fails to do so, the commission may exercise civil court jurisdiction and summon a representative, NCST wrote in the notice.

“The subtle casteism is channeled both from the administration to the students and from the students to the students. After filing an RTI, we realized that 90% of our professors and 70% of our PhD students. the scholars belong to the higher castes. Professors claim that this was done due to a lack of meritorious applications from reserved castes,” an APPSC student member told IIT Bombay.

Disagreeing with the narrative, a faculty member in the electrical engineering department said, “IIT has enough forums, these should proactively reach out to students who need help. We also have meetings with students at the department level to verify them. No institution is perfect, but we are always ready to listen.

When asked, the IITB spokesman said he would respond to the NCST first when the institute receives the letter.