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TISS suspends Dalit PhD student for 2 yrs over 'activities deemed anti-national'
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TISS suspends Dalit PhD student for 2 yrs over 'activities deemed anti-national'

| @indiablooms | 20 Apr 2024, 11:23 pm

Mumbai: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has suspended Ramadas Prini Sivanandan, a PhD student for two years, citing "repeated misconduct and activities deemed anti-national," media reported.

The suspension has sparked controversy, with the Progressive Students Forum (PSF) linking the suspension to Ramadas' involvement in a protest against the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) in Delhi earlier this year, reported The Indian Express.

As per the publication, the suspension directive issued on April 18 bars Ramadas from accessing any TISS campus during the suspension period.

This decision came after a show-cause notice was sent to him on March 7, questioning his participation in the Delhi protest and other engagements on the Mumbai campus.

The notice alleged that Ramadas misrepresented the institution by participating in the protest under the PSF-TISS banner.

TISS argued that since PSF is not an officially recognized student body, Ramadas' actions created a false impression.

TISS also receives funding from the Ministry of Education.

In January, the United Students of India organized a protest to oppose the NEP 2020.

The Progressive Students Forum (PSF) criticized TISS's decision, interpreting it as an effort to suppress dissent against the policies of the ruling BJP government.

Ramadas, a PhD scholar from the Dalit community, is a member with the left-wing student organisation Student Federation of India (SFI) and has arranged events that the institute deemed unauthorized.

While Ramadas declined to comment, a close associate told the publication that he had responded to the institute's notices and was surprised by the suspension.

The PSF condemned TISS's actions, arguing that they unfairly target marginalized students and their aspirations for higher education.

On the other hand, a senior institute official told the newspaper that Ramadas was more of a political activist than a student and emphasized that he maligned the reputation of the institute.

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