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.
Spoke to Pune University VC & thanked him for his prompt action to suspend the notification that mandates a gold medalist to be vegetarian. Such mandates of food habits mustn’t be allowed. He has asked the family to amend the required for the medal. #PuneUniversity
— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) November 11, 2017
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.
— satyenaiadmk (@satyenaiadmk) November 11, 2017
Good that the university has realised the folly of going against the majority to appease a small minority.
— True sanatini (@TrueSanatini) November 11, 2017
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.