The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC) of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay), a student organisation with chapters in various IITs, issued a statement termed "End Casteism in IITs" on Tuesday. An online petition asking IITs to establish permanent SC, ST and OBC committees to evaluate and address caste-based discrimination on campus has been started by APPSC IIT Bombay.
This statement was released following the outburst among students after an associate professor Seema Singh at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT KGP) verbally abused students purportedly belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities and those with physical disabilities during a preparatory online class. Video clips of the online preparatory classes taught by Seema Singh, a professor of English from the department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT KGP, where she can be heard repeatedly hurling abuses at students went viral on social media.
APPSC IIT Bombay released a statement saying, "We believe that the breaking of caste ceilings at IITs and other similar institutions require systematic changes. We demand immediate termination of the casteist and authoritarian Professor Seema Singh. The professor should be booked under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989."
Further, in view of students, APPSC stated, "We demand that the students be protected and passed without any coercive action by the administration for exposing casteism in the insitute. A permanent SC, ST and OBC Cell should be set-up at IIT Kharagpur and all IITs. This cell should act as an anti-caste discrimination cell, take strict actions against casual and structural casteism and work towards sensitising the campus about casual and structural forms of discrimination. The cell should have faculties from minorities and representatives from SC/ST/OBC. The cell should have the power to monitor if all admission and faculty recruitments follow reservation guidelines."
In addition, APPSC said, "All vacant seats allotted for SC, ST and OBC faculties should be filled immediately by special recruitment drives. The criterion of illegal additional cut-offs which faculties use to exclude candidates from SC/ST/OBC background from gaining admission to PhD programmes at IITs should be removed."