Pune University removes ‘Vegetarian’ condition for gold medal following uproar

Pune: The Savitribai Phule Pune University on Saturday scrapped a 10-year-old circular stipulating that a gold medalist must be “a vegetarian, free of any vices”, said a top varsity official. The circular drew sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.

“We have withdrawn the 10-year-old circular after objections were raised from various quarters. Now we shall write to the Shelar family (which had endowed the medal) to drop this particular stipulation,” Registrar Arvind Shaligram told news agency IANS.

He added that none of the donors except the Shelar Family have “such a condition”. In case the family doesn’t agree to the request, then the university would be compelled to initiate the process to cancel the gold medal instituted out of the Shelar Family’s endowment, he added.

“We have many other gold medals that can be given to the students and none of them have such a condition,” said Mr Shaligram.

The 2006 circular was issued for an endowment of Rs. 120,000, received from the Shelar family for instituting two gold medals to be awarded to the varsity’s two top students in the science faculty.

Among the criteria imposed were the winners must be “vegetarians, and free of any kind of vices”, which recently came to the fore and was highlighted in local media and political circles.

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