IIT Professor’s remarks on SC, ST students Trigger Row, Check Full Details Here

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IIT Professor’s remarks on SC, ST students Trigger Row

 

Student bodies sought institutional action against an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT KGP) who verbally assaulted students allegedly belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) groups, as well as those with physical disabilities, during a preparatory class after videos of her online classes went viral on social media.

 

IIT KGP confessions page on social media: The recordings, which are currently being reviewed by the institute, were anonymously posted on the IIT KGP confessions page on social media on Sunday afternoon. The videos are from Seema Singh, an English professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, who taught online preparation classes to a number of students and parents. She can be heard repeatedly abusing them in the video.

The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student organization with chapters at various IITs, demanded that the professor be fired and charged under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. In a statement, the APPSC said, "She is fully aware of her conduct and declares immunity from any disciplinary actions or consequences."

Tamal Nath, the registrar of IIT Kharagpur, said the institute was looking into the veracity of the videos and the claims made by student groups that she made casteist slurs. “We've been made aware of the incident. We're looking into the claims to see if they're true. Such behavior is not tolerated at the institute. He said, "Action will be taken." Singh could not be reached for comment. Virendra Kumar Tewari, the institute's director, did not respond to requests, messages, or emails.

“[Tewari] shared his support for the students and their parents during an online meeting on Monday evening. In the meantime, the professor in question has been referred to a disciplinary committee,” an institute official said on condition of anonymity.

The video, according to the official, was taken during preparatory classes for students from the SC/ST groups and people with disabilities (PWDs). The students contacted by HT, however, declined to comment on the video because they were afraid of repercussions. The video has not been independently verified by HT.

 

In addition, the IIT alumni association responded harshly to the professor's remarks. “It is evident from the videos that Professor Singh is a repeat offender who thinks her casteism and abuse will go unnoticed,” they wrote in a letter to the director of IIT-K, outlining six demands.

  • The students have received an unconditional apology from IIT KGP and Professor Singh.
  • Professor Singh's role at the institute has been terminated.
  • Professor Singh's actions are punishable under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and the institute is taking strict action against her.
  • The institute provides all requisite assistance to the students in order for them to cope with the unwarranted humiliation.
  • The institute established a SC, ST, and OBC Cell to act as an anti-caste discrimination cell, to take strict action against casual and institutional casteism, and to work toward sensitising the campus about structural discrimination (following the lead of other universities and UGC letter no. F.1–26/76 (CP/SCT) dated June 27, 1979).
  • The institute takes every precaution to ensure that students are treated with dignity and respect and that casteism is eradicated on campus.
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