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MG University removes head of Nano department following complaint from SC woman researcher

- November 6, 2021

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 6 (BPNS)

Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala has removed the head of department of Nano Science and Technology department, Dr. Nandakumar Kalarickal from the post. A research scholar, Deepa Mohan who belongs to Scheduled Caste community had complained against the Professor that she was facing caste-based harassment from the head of department. The MG University in a statement on Friday said that the Vice-Chancellor has removed Professor Nandakumar Kalarickal from the post of Head of Department and the post has been taken over by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Sabu Thomas himself who is also a renowned nanoscientist.

The research scholar has been conducting a protest fast in front of the MG University for the past ten days and the issue had become the centre of media glare.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan who is also the Chancellor of the MG University had met the University Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Sabu Thomas, and directed him to take immediate action against the Professor. However, University sources revealed that the Vice-Chancellor had met the Governor to apprise him of the action to be taken against the Head of Department of Nano Sciences.

However, Deepa Mohan, the research scholar said that the action against Professor Nandakumar was just an eyewash and her demand was to dismiss him from the University. While speaking to media persons, Deepa said that the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Sabu Thomas must also be removed from the present position.

Deepa had commenced her protest fast in front of the university citing that she was traumatized at the university department of Nano Technology and Nano Sciences. She complained that she had faced caste-based discrimination and was not even allowed to sit in the laboratory. She also alleged that the head of Department of Nano Sciences was instrumental in even locking her inside the laboratory after she complained against him.

She also said that she was prevented from getting admission to PhD course in the department but could not do so as she had qualified the GATE exam. Deepa Mohan also said that she had successfully passed her MPhil course in 2012 but her certificate was not released and finally only in 2015 she could get her certificate.

Earlier in the day state minister for Higher Education Professor R. Bindu had publicly asked the University as to why the Professor concerned against whom the PhD scholar had raised the allegation was not removed from the present post.