PhD student's protest; MG university removes Nandakumar Kalarickal from Nano centre chief post

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Kottayam: In a major development in the protest of a Dalit PhD student, MG university has removed Dr Nandakumar Kalarickal from the post of director of the International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IIUCNN) in the university. The university has taken the action after research scholar Deepa P Mohanan started a hunger strike demanding action against Nandakumar for making casteist remarks against her.

As per her complaint, Nandakumar Kalarickal who was her former research guide used casteist remarks against her. Deepa accused Nandakumar of not letting her complete PhD as she is a Dalit.

The university claimed that Nandakumar who is currently abroad was removed from the post as directed by the government. As Nandakumar is removed from the director post, MG University Vice-Chancellor Sabu Thomas will be in charge of the IICUNN.

However, MG Univesity didn’t release a press release on the matter. It is learned that the move to remove Nandakumar from his role is aimed at ending the PhD scholar's hunger strike immediately.

Earlier, Minister of Higher Education R. Bindu intervened in the matter and promised to look into the issue. The minister's intervention is believed to have prompted the syndicate's decision to replace Nandakumar. Meantime, Deepa's hunger strike entered ninth day on Saturday.

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