Winning a Gold medal at the Savitribai Phule Pune University has just become even more difficult. According to the latest circular released by the university, which features ten criteria for being eligible for a medal, one has to be a vegetarian and a teetotaler. According to a report by the quint, the circular was meant to inform affiliated colleges and departments about the gold medal for non-science streams post-graduate students for the year 2016-2017.
Amid immense criticism, the university said that the medal has been sponsored by a donor and that the university is just following the demands of the sponsorer. Defending its move for the eligibility of the Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold Medal, the university further said, "Since all the awards are sponsored by outsiders, we follow their terms and conditions." The medal is said to be sponsored by the trust and family members of Shelar Mama.
Meanwhile, criticising the move is the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party. Speaking to the NDTV, Aditya Thackeray said, "Is it an university or a restaurant? The Shiv Sena believes that neither the university nor the government has any right to tell people what they should be eating. The university should only focus on education."
Agreeing with him was NCP leader and member of Parliament Supriya Sule who Tweeted, "Shocking disappointing decision by Pune University - so proud of education in our state, What has happened to our universities. Please focus on Education not food."
Not just that, the circular also stated that the student should be a believer in Indian culture, tradition and practices and should be an ardent follower of the same in his daily life. Students practicing Yoga, pranayama and meditation will be given preference, it states. Apart from that, the student should also be eloquent in theater, singing and dancing.
Speculations are rife that the circular must be old and may have been released 10 years ago. However, the date of issue on it proves otherwise. The circular number is 225/2017 and has been dated as October 31, 2017.