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Controversial statement by IIT Mandi Director sparks outrage and calls for action

Shimla, Sept 8

In a shocking turn of events, the Director of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi, Laxmidhar Behera, has come under fire for his recent controversial speech that has raised concerns. The statement, which came just day after the alleged ragging incident at the institute, has ignited outrage and demand for action.

The speech, delivered by Director Behera, has drawn severe criticism for its moralistic tone and unscientific assertions. In his address, Behera made statements linking meat consumption to environmental degradation and natural disasters, sparking outrage among students, faculty, and the academic community. Critics argue that such remarks not only lack scientific basis but also tarnish the dignity of the institute.

Lalit Sharma, the District President of the Gyan Vigyan Samiti in Mandi, expressed strong disapproval of Behera’s statement. Sharma emphasized that such statements create superstition and misconceptions in society and called on the IIT director to uphold the dignity of the institute and his post.

He also highlighted the contradiction between the government’s request for scientific studies on disasters in the state and the unscientific nature of the Director’s statements.

Himachal Gyan Vigyan Samiti, an organization dedicated to promoting science and knowledge, condemned the controversial remarks and expressed support for the innovative work of IIT Mandi students. The committee has demanded strict action against the IIT Director and called for his immediate removal from the post.

In another statement by Joginder Walia  of All India Public Science Network, said that Behera’s statement is like sprinkling salt on the wounds of the people of Himachal, which is strongly condemned, the above statement of the director is absurd and harms the dignity of the institute.  Strict action should be taken against the director and he should be removed from the post immediately, he added.

The controversy comes at a time when IIT Mandi has been gaining recognition as a premier technological institution through its research and development activities. However, these recent incidents, including alleged ragging and the Director’s controversial speech, have raised concerns about the institute’s reputation.

Also read:IIT Mandi ragging matter: action taken against 72 students

The controversy has also sparked discussions about the influence of political agendas on educational institutions. Critics like Tikender Panwar of CPI(M) member and former Deputy Mayor of Shimla, has pointed that the BJP government’s curriculum changes and faculty decisions have affected the reputation of renowned educational institutions.

He even added that the Director seems to be a lunatic and must be taken to a psychiatrist, added Panwar.

Himachal Pradesh, with six main universities including IIT Mandi, IIM Poanta, and others, faces challenges in faculty recruitment and funding. Many educational institutions in the state are still in their early stages of development and are grappling with issues.

As the academic community and the public demand action against the Director, the institution’s image hangs in the balance, leaving questions about the influence of politics on education.

Noteworthy here, that as per empirical data available online, daily meat consumption of India is below 40 grams per-capita (data 2019).


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