Student must be ‘vegetarian’ for gold medal in academics, says Pune varsity

Pune, Nov 11 (PTI): Students who are vegetarian and teetotaller will be eligible for gold medals to be given at a Pune university's convocation by a trust run by a yoga guru, says the institution, drawing flak from some quarters even though the varsity said it does not differentiate anyone on the basis of food habits.

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) in a circular, informed affiliated colleges and departments about a gold medal award, constituted in the name of Yog Maharshi Ramchandra Gopal Shelar, alias Shelar Mama for non-science streams postgraduate students for the academic year 2016-17.

The medal is sponsored by the trust and family members of Shelar Mama.

According to the circular, the varsity cited one of the criteria that the student should be "vegetarian and teetotaller".

However, the varsity has claimed that the circular is old and re-issued every year with no change in the content.

The circular said the gold medal is given to a student who has completed post graduation in science and non-science stream with merit on alternate years.

This year, the gold medal is given for non-science stream.

The circular said that besides the "vegan and tee-totaller" criterion, the student should believe in Indian culture, tradition and practise all these values in his daily life and should be versatile in activities like dance, singing, eloquence and theatre.

"Student who practises yoga and pranayama and meditation will be given preference," reads the circular.

Arvind Shaligram, registrar of SPPU, said the content in the circular is old, as the gold medal was constituted in the name of Shelar Mama in 2006.

"Since the gold medal is given every year, the circular is re-issued every year and the content of the circular remains same and only date changes.

"As far as setting up the terms and conditions in the circular, the varsity has nothing to do with this as the terms and conditions in the circular were not drafted by the university. All these terms and conditions were drafted and given to varsity by the trust of yog maharshi Shelarmama then, who then wanted to constitute the gold medal in the name of the Yog Maharshi," he clarified.

Meanwhile, the varsity late on Friday evening said it will have discussions with the family members of Shelarmama over the criterion related to diet.

In a statement SPPU said that it does not differentiate students on the basis of the food habits.

Reacting to the development, Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray wondered if it was a varsity or a restaurant.

"This diktat should be withdrawn. Focus on studies instead. Rather than bothering about who eats what, pay attention to how students will get jobs," Aaditya said.

"I agree that the criterion should specify that a student should not have any vices. But 'only vegetarian' criterion is incomprehensible. Are you running a university or have you opened a restaurant," he said.

"Give a gold medal to those who issued this diktat and dismiss them," he added.

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Comment on this article

  • SMR, Karkala

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    “The highest result of education is tolerance.” Tolerance is one value that is still trying to earn its place in the minds of people on this planet. Educating young minds about humanity, equality and the diverse cultures is the need of the hour. Communal differences and bitterness for each other’s culture and religion is leading the world in to such despair that humanity is losing its grip.
    For a diverse country like India, religious extremism is a great challenge.
    Food is one of the basic necessity if human life. Food gives us energy and different food items have different benefits.
    Acharya Chanakya explains the benefits of the various food items available to the humans.
    अन्नाद्दशगुणं पिष्टं पिष्टाद्दशगुणं पय:।
    पयसोऽष्टगुणं मांसं मांसाद्दशगुणं घृतम्।
    According to Chanakya, flour provides more energy than whole grains. Hence, one should be include more and more flour in his diet.
    He says milk provides 10 times more energy than flour and meat gives 8 times more energy than milk. So, a person should consume milk everyday.
    He adds that one should rather consume 'ghee' than eat meat as ghee provides more energy than meat.
    But do note, when consuming meat and beef was common practice, it was Hindu emperors who ruled over this huge subcontinent. Similarly, at the cusp of the first and second millennia CE, the Chola Empire, with meat-eating kings and soldiers, achieved unmatched glory in creating a maritime empire as far as Indonesia.
    Towards the end of the first millennium CE, some changes took place in India. Buddhism waned and Hinduism, with a system of caste based on birth, reasserted itself. The revival was led by Adi Sankaracharya. Somewhere around this time, some castes chose to distinguish themselves from the Hindu masses by resorting to vegetarianism.
    If education system is saffronised the end product is disastrous. Hitler tried this during Nazi era and Germany wiped out. Is Pune university may well be taking India on the route to becoming a weakling.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deva, Pilar

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    They will take INDIA again to Old Stone the brain of Non Veg world and so called Veg World you will find the answer..........

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prem, Dublin

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    After 2014 seems got independence. Strange things happening in india. Cow national Animal. Tajmahal nit in tourist least. Job less goww rakshakas. Blind bhakthas so many born some educated too. Jihad love. Kapi sene.vanar sene. Bharangis road romeos...Grass is national veg plant. Fish is god. ..etc.....dakus looting in scams shass jay...fekugiri beond limit daily fake bhashans....economy fake climbed by sky high with lawyer jaiteley Liar. Black money vanished only pure white wash money left in mkt.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mohammed, Kundapur/Qatar

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    only in india we find such people.
    even there are some people, who are vegetarian in house and non-vegetarian outside.
    and even some, who are vegetarian but only eat egg.
    and even some, who are vegetarian on some days in week.
    and even some, who cannot cook non-veg in house, but can bring from outside and eat.
    totally confused.
    my suggestion is do follow what suits you, but don't try to impose on others what others to eat.
    without having knowledge what veg and non-veg, don't give some stupid statements, like some judge given statement on peacock.
    why all these people from bjp and sangh parivar?? do they need some consultation ?? can modi educate them??

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh, Mangalore, Oman

    Sat, Nov 11 2017


    DisAgree [1] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • juliana, udupi

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Gold cabbage for eating veg.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sampath, India

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Time to scrap quota system to get seats and jobs...why double standard...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santhosh Kulal, Mangaluru

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Scrap caste system and the reservation and quotas will go off next day! But as long as caste is a reality in India, reservations and quotas are must. Don't forget that all these quotas and reservations are caste-based and when caste itself gets abolished, reservations and quotas too will vanish! The choice is simple! If you need caste, then reservations too are must.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Laughing Stock! Some of them will not spare any opportunity to push their ideology!! If there is no opportunity, they will create one!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    I am both a Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian.

    The Air Hostess asked me Veg, Non- Veg???!!!

    I replied I am both. Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian.

    She laughed and gave me Vegetarian.

    Hope the university shall give me a Gold Medal.

    We are all students in this world.

    See the chaaiwaala and all his cow ministers learnt G.S.T. from Rahul Gandhi.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mark Dcruz, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Which flight you were flying ?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh, Mangalore, Oman

    Sat, Nov 11 2017


    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Nonsense. I don't believe this.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Food may not have much impact for getting gold medal other than commitment and better presentation what one know

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed K.C., Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Trying to implement RSS agenda.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MiSQUITH, Bahrain

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Stupidity has no limits.. this type of stupidity started after 2014.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jeevan, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Iam vegetarian at home and non vegetarian outside. Am I entitled for gold medal

    DisAgree [1] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ronald, Udupi

    Sat, Nov 11 2017

    Finally some sensible comment with humor! Well done Jeevan!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Sat, Nov 11 2017


    I think, you do not meet the other condition that is, you have to be teetotaler. By your everyday changing opinions, I have a reason to believe, it is written by the influence of liquor. (only fun intended).

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Student must be ‘vegetarian’ for gold medal in academics, says Pune varsity


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