After Backlash, Pune University's U-Turn On Vegetarian, Teetotaller Rule

The circular had drawn sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.

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After Backlash, Pune University's U-Turn On Vegetarian, Teetotaller Rule

The circular drew sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Pune:  The Pune University has suspended its controversial circular which allowed only vegetarians and teetotallers to be eligible for the gold medal. The circular drew sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.  

The decision of the university was welcomed by people who had hit out at the administration for issuing the circular.

Yuva Sena President Aaditya Thackeray, who had earlier criticised the circular, tweeted, "Spoke to Pune University VC and thanked him for his prompt action to suspend the notification that mandates a gold medalist to be vegetarian. Such mandates of food habits mustn't be allowed. He has asked the family to amend the required for the medal."

A copy of a circular issued on October 31 shows a list of 10 qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold Medal. The seventh condition states that the student should be a teetotaler and a vegetarian.

The university had defended the move saying it's a condition that has been put forward by the sponsors of the medal. "Since all the awards are sponsored by outsiders, we follow their terms and conditions," a top official said.

The circular had drawn sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party. On Friday, Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray told reporters, "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."

NCP leader and Member of Parliament Supriya Sule also criticised the circular.
 
While several people have argued that the circular is an old one and was issued 10 years ago, the circular number (225/2017) clearly indicates that the circular was issued this year itself even if the conditions for the gold medal existed earlier. 

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