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TISS suspends PhD student for ‘activities not in interest of nation’; he says will appeal

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MUMBAI, April 20: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has suspended a PhD student for two years for indulging in activities which are “not in the interest of the nation” and referred to instances like him participating in a protest in Delhi under the PSF-TISS banner.

Ramadas Prinisivanandan (30), who is pursuing his doctorate in Development Studies, has also been debarred from entering the TISS campuses in Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Guwahati.

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In a notice sent to Prinisivanandan dated March 7, TISS referred to instances like the screening of documentaries like ‘Ram Ke Naam’ ahead of January 26 as a “mark of dishonour and protest” against the Ram Mandir consecration in Ayodhya.

He has also been accused of screening a banned BBC documentary on the TISS campus last January and also organising the Bhagat Singh Memorial Lecture (BSML) by inviting “controversial guest speakers”.

It said that these issues are “very serious and it is discernible that you are intentionally and deliberately indulging in such unlawful activities in the name of freedom of speech and expression.”

“Your activities are not in the interest of the nation. Being a public institution, TISS cannot permit or tolerate its students indulging in such activities which are anti-national and bring a bad name to the nation. Hence all such activities fall under the category of serious criminal offence.

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“The committee recommended your suspension from the institute i.e. Tata Institute of Social Sciences for the period of two years and your entry shall be debarred across all campuses of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which is accepted by the competent authority,” the TISS notice dated April 18 reads.

Prinisivanandan, who hails from Kerala, said he will appeal against the suspension.

The Progressive Student Forum, a Left-leaning student body Prinisivanandan is associated with, said the march referred to by the TISS was related to “anti-student policies in the form of the National Education Policy”.

It also said BSML has had the distinction of inviting well-known academics, scholars and human rights activists, including two Ramon Magsaysay awardees. (PTI)

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