First published: January 3, 2017, 10:37 PM IST | Updated: 5 mins ago
Hyderabad University Vice-Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile receives award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural session of the 104th annual meeting of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) at Tirupati on Tuesday.
Tirupati: For Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad, Prof Appa Rao Podile, a prestigious ‘Millennium Plaques Honour’ from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural session of the 104th annual meeting of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) at Tirupati has sparked a controversy.
The students of the University who have been demanding removal and arrest of V-C Appa Rao Podile post Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula suicide in 2016, condemned the honour bestowed upon him.
Scholars who were suspended along with Rohith Vemula alleged, “Appa Rao is a stooge who has been rewarded for the services to his masters in BJP. This man is chosen out of turn and by overlooking several eminent scholars. This was done by the Government clearly to suppress Dalit student assertion on the campus. He is just not a plagiarist but also a criminal accused under Sc/St atrocities act.”
Rohith Vemula’s suicide on January 17, 2016, sparked massive protests in the campus. The University administration along with central BJP led government were accused for being anti-Dalit and discriminatory. The confrontation aggravated on March 22nd after Appa Rao returned to campus and angry students ransacked his house, after which many students were even arrested by the police.
However, press release from the University mentioned that “ISCA honours key individuals for their significant and lifetime contribution to the development of Science and Technology in the country. ISCA, in the award letter, admired the contributions against various odds. ISCA stated that it is an attempt to pay humble respects and also to salute the renowned scientists in India. ISCA, in its letter, appreciated his key role in the development of science and technology. It added that Prof. Appa Rao has been an institution builder and shaped the way the Science and Technology should develop in future”.