After criticism, Pune University suspends the award of gold medal

After facing a huge backlash on social media platforms, the Vice-Chancellor of the University called a press meet.

One day after the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) issued a circular stating that the criteria to award a gold medal includes being vegetarian and a proponent of Indian culture, the Vice-Chancellor has decided to suspend awarding the medal. As per a report by the Indian Express, after facing a huge backlash on social media platforms, the Vice-Chancellor of the SPPU, Dr Nitin Karmalkar, called a press meet and clarified that they will look into the matter. He said that the medal was approved by the management council in 2006. Since the matter has come to the fore only now, we will take this opportunity to rectify the same.

(Also read: No sanskar, no gold medal. Pune univ to award top honours only to vegetarians and teetotallers)

The decision about the criteria for bagging the medal instituted in 2006, was taken by Yogmurthi Rashtirya Keertankar Ramchandra Gopal Shelar and Tyagmurthi Shrimati Saraswati Ramachandra Shelar. The management council back then had agreed to the decision but Dr Karmalkar assured that the administration does not judge students based on their dietary habits, as per the report.

The report further states, “If they disapprove, we will scrap this medal completely,” added Karmalkar. The university administration has decided to form a committee to review the conditions and criteria all of its 40 existing medals and awards, presented at the annual convocation.