Only vegetarian students and those who do not consume alcohol will be considered for the gold medal at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, according to the institute’s new rules, ANI reported on Friday.
A copy of a circular, uploaded by Loksatta, shows a list of 10 qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold Medal.
The rules also say the student should know and follow the Indian culture and tradition and should preferably have participated in activities such as blood donation and environment protection. They should also have participated in sports at the national or international level and do yoga.
Responding to the backlash on social media, university Registrar Arvind Shaligram told The New Indian Express: “The gold medals are generally instituted from some donations received from donors. One of the donors had made some conditions. Since all the awards are sponsored by outsiders, we follow their terms and conditions.”
A number of students protested on campus and burned copies of the notification, The Hindu reported. “The conditions stipulated are not merely bizarre or laughable, but downright offensive and discriminatory,” a student was quoted as saying. “They have nothing to do with a student’s merit or academic excellence.”