A copy of a circular shows a list of 10 qualifications for a student to be eligible for the Maharishi Keertankar Shelar Mama Gold Medal. Condition number seven states that the student should be a teetotaler and a vegetarian.
The university defends 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 has drawn sharp reactions from the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.
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 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."
While several people have argued that the circular is an old one and was issued ten years ago, the number of the circular number is 225/2017 clearly indicating that the circular was issued this year itself. The circular is dated October 31, 2017.