A section of AIIMS faculty members have termed as "arbitrary and illegal" the administration's imposition of conditions for holding a session to discuss caste discrimination at institutes of higher learning, and said it was an attempt to curb their fundamental rights.
The organisers have postponed the event, which was to be held on Monday, in protest and have also sought revocation of the terms.
A group of doctors, belonging to the forum AIIMS Front for Social Consciousness, had decided to hold a discussion on the topic "Ambedkar's views on Social Relations: Caste discrimination in Institutions of Higher Learning" and had written to the administration to book a lecture hall for the same.
In its reply, the AIIMS registrar issued certain directions for the event to be conducted.
"No society/forum/association has been allowed to host or participate in the event. No political discussions should be held. No press/media coverage should be done and no press release should be issued without specific approval of the Director AIIMS, as this is being held within the AIIMS premises," the conditions stated.
Professors from the Hindu college and the IIT-Delhi, besides some faculty members, were scheduled to participate in the event.
The response from the administration triggered a resentment among a section of doctors who termed it as an attempt to curb their fundamental rights and held a meeting with the director.
In a communique to the AIIMS administration over their response, a senior doctor representing the group said the order was "arbitrary and illegal" by any parameter of democratic governance and that it prompted them to hold a meeting with the director over the proposed meeting.
"The above directions also strike at the root of the concept of the freedom of the press, academic freedom and the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
"The director categorically stated that he supports all kinds of academic discourses, not only related to medicine but any other subjects (eg sociology, political sciences etc) that has the effect of making students and participants more aware and responsible towards society. The order in question, the director clarified, is issued in view of the ongoing election," the communique said.
The faculty members said the director conveyed that after the election gets over on May 19, the conditions will cease to exist.
The doctors have postponed the event and have sought revocation of the conditions.
The doctors, however, rued that recently an event "A talk on Astrology and Medical Sciences" was held at the campus and was also covered by the media and no such conditions were imposed by the administration.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)