In a controversial act, Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), Guwahati, has made a fourth-year PhD scholar sign a six-point undertaking, including 'no protest', to continue his research programme in the institute.
Himanchal Singh was reportedly was made to sign the six-point undertaking, assuring that he would neither take part in any form of agitation, protest, dharna, inside or outside the campus nor mobilize students for the same.
He was suspended for one semester last year for participating in a hunger strike, along with a fellow student (Vikrant Singh), to protest against the compulsory retirement of their teacher Brajesh Rai.
Allegations On Institute Administration
Rai had levelled allegations of corruption against the institute administration earlier. In October last year, Vikrant Singh had reacted to the arrest of a JEE (Mains) topper from Assam for using a proxy to write the exam on Facebook.
He had written that proxy was not a new thing and that the IITs have "acted in vague and sad manner" against teachers who have called out instances of corruption earlier. The institute said that Vikrant had collaborated with Rai, his former supervisor, in twisting facts about the institute "to disrupt the academic activities of the institute".On June 25, the institute terminated his studentship.
On March 8, the Registrar & Secretary Senate of IIT Guwahati sent a letter to Himanchal Singh and said that "The 152nd meeting of the Senate, of the institute held on 03-02-2021 has favourably considered your appeal seeking permission to come back to the IIT Guwahati campus", reported India Today.
"Please note that you will be required to submit an undertaking for possible permission to come back to the IIT Guwahati campus. If you agree with the conditions please report to the Students Affairs Section, within 10 days from receipt of this letter so as to resume your PhD research work prescribed for you," the letter added.
'Unfair And Vindictive'
On April 1, Himanchal approached the Gauhati High Court, saying that the undertaking was discriminatory and in contravention of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution that grants him freedom of speech and expression.
In his petition, Himanchal said that imposing compulsory retirement on a faculty member, who was "known to speak out against dishonest practices", was unfair and vindictive.
The court said that if the student was still aggrieved, he could approach again.