Narendra Modi government has decided to stop funding to research centres on social discrimination at several universities, amid its rhetoric on Dalit outreach. These centres basically concentrates on the research on social exlusion, Ambedkar thought etc. This decision comes at a time when BJP and RSS are trying to appropriate Ambedkar thought to further there political ambitions.
The Telegraph reported that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has cut funding to several research centres that were set up under the 11th five-year plan (2007-2012) and then renewed in the 12th plan. While a similar renewal was expected under the 13th plan, the UGC has sent circulars to some of the universities that house such centres saying that their plan funding end on 31 March.
These centres were started in 35 Central and State government universities.
According to the report the UGC has wrote to universities that it would stop funding these centres once the plan ends on 312 March
"I am directed to inform you that UGC will not provide financial support to the centre after the end of XIIth Plan as per the order received from MHRD (ministry of human resource development)," says the order, issued by University Grants Commission undersecretary Sushma Rathore.
Rathore's letter has cast doubts about the future of the MPhil and PhD scholars enrolled in these centres and the professors teaching at these centres.
It is to be noted that RSS and ABVP has been attacking these centres for a while now. Panchajanya the mouthpiece of RSS has published a cover story against Jawaharlal Nehru University and its centres of social exclusion.
MHRD spokesperson Ghanshyam Goel did not respond to the Telegraph‘s request for comment, the UGC chairman said non-plan budget for these centres had not been cut. But the Telegraph reported that most of these centres receive hardly any non-plan fund.