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Inappropriate to ask other students their JEE advanced rank: IIT Bombay

The issue of discrimination on the IIT Bombay's campus came to light when a first-year student, Darshan Solanki, died by suicide on February 12

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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In a bid to crack down upon the alleged caste-based discrimination on its campus, India's foremost educational institute, IIT Bombay, has instructed its students not to ask their fellow mates about their JEE advanced ranks.

In its latest "Anti-discrimination guidelines at IIT Bombay", the institute added that it is also inappropriate for students to ask other students about the JEE advanced ranks, GATE score or "any other information that may reveal the caste or other related aspects".

"IIT Bombay considers it inappropriate to ask a fellow student what birth/admission category they belong to: asking this could lead to conscious or subconscious bias," the guidelines said.

It also said that it is inappropriate to ask the "fellow student what birth/admission category they belong to: asking this could lead to conscious or subconscious bias.

On asking about the ranks, it added, "While the student asking the question may feel it is innocent, and it may be driven purely by curiosity, asking the question can often have an adverse impact on the other student. Asking could appear like an attempt to find the caste, and may set the stage for discrimination."

The issue of discrimination on the institute's campus came to light when a first-year student, Darshan Solanki, died by suicide after jumping from the refuge floor of the students' hostel on February 12.

In a 473-page chargesheet, Mumbai Police quoted Solanki's family members as saying that he had regularly spoken about the environment at the institute and the caste discrimination practised by his fellow students.

A fellow student, Arman Khatri, was arrested on charges of abetment of suicide under the sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Khatri's involvement was found after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Mumbai Police found Solanki's suicide note, which said, "Arman has killed me".

In the guidelines, IIT Bombay also said, "Politeness and sensitivity towards others' feelings is expected from all."

It added, "In order to help the institute achieve an inclusive atmosphere, it is strongly urged that the introduction, interaction, bonding of friends happens through commonalities like department, sports, music, movies, school/college/village/city/town, hobbies, etc."

Moreover, the institute also said that those violating the guidelines would be subjected to "severe punishment".

"IIT Bombay implements, and is proud to implement, the reservation-policy of the Constitution in letter and spirit. The institute strives to provide equal opportunities to all the admitted students. The institute also strives to ensure that students do not face any discrimination: whether from faculty members, staff members or fellow students," the guidelines read.

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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 11:16 AM IST

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