Kerala protests DU professor's 'marks jihad' remark, seeks action against him

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government on Sunday sought action against a Delhi University professor who made the "marks jihad" remark against the state's Education Board and described the statement as "racist".

After a large number of students from Kerala applied to DU colleges for higher studies with good marks, Rakesh Kumar Pandey, a member of RSS-affiliated teachers' body National Democratic Teachers' Front, had criticised the Kerala Education Board. He also had hinted at a "conspiracy" behind the high number of applicants from Kerala, calling it "marks jihad".

In response to the controversy, Kerala General Education Minister V Sivankutty's office said that the minister has sent a letter to Union Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi University Vice Chancellor.

"The professor made a racist and communal statement against the students from Kerala. Such statements may cause hatred among the students," the minister said.

Sivankutty also sought a criminal and department-level action against the professor.

Kerala protests DU professor's 'marks jihad' remark, seeks action against him
R Bindu

Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu on Sunday said that Kerala government has informed Central Government of its protest against the remarks.

She said she too had sent a letter to Union education minister. She also said the DU professor has insulted entire education sector in Kerala.

Last week, MPs of the Kerala's ruling CPI(M) and opposition Congress had slammed the "mark jihad" remarks against the southern state's education board, terming it as "ridiculous" and sought condemnation by the Centre.

While Congress MP Shashi Tharoor described it as "ridiculous", CPI(M)' Rajya Sabha member John Brittas shot off a letter to Pradhan urging him to take disciplinary and legal action against Pandey for his "highly deplorable, defamatory and communal remarks".

In a statement on October 6, Pandey had alleged that "the invasion of Kerala board students with perfect 100 per cent marks cannot be considered as unplanned."

"It hints at something that must be investigated. There is no way that one can accept this inexplicable flow of students from the Kerala board as normal. Majority of these students are comfortable neither in Hindi nor in English. All these students do not have 100 per cent marks in Class 11," Pandey said, calling it a "marks jihad".

Over 100 admissions of students of the Kerala board were put on hold by the Delhi University (DU) over a confusion related to their marksheets, but the matter was resolved after officials contacted the board in the southern state, sources had said on Wednesday.

Amid a large number of students from the Kerala board applying to DU colleges, that too a majority of them being perfect scorers, an issue over their marksheets had risen on Monday, leading the admission branch of the university to direct the colleges to put the admissions on hold.

(With PTI inputs)

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