Academics Express Solidarity to IIT Prof Who Alleged Caste Bias

Dr Subrahmanyam Saderla had accused four of his colleagues at the institute of discrimination and harassment. 

1 min read
File picture of IIT Kanpur.

As many as 400 academics across 16 countries have signed an International Statement of Solidarity for Dr Subrahmanyam Saderla, Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Kanpur, who had complained of harassment and discrimination based on caste, by four colleagues last year.

Saderla who had joined IIT Kanpur on 1 January, last year, had accused four of his colleagues at the institute of discrimination and harassment on 12 January 2018. A three-member fact-finding committee, set up subsequently by the IIT-K director, had found the four guilty of harassment in its report submitted on March 8, 2018.

The matter however took a new turn after an anonymous e-mail sent to several faculty members on 15 October, 2018 alleged that Saderla had resorted to plagiarism in his PhD dissertation.

Earlier this month, the Senate of IIT-Kanpur recommended cancellation of his dissertation, even as the institute’s Academic Ethics Cell had found “no reason to revoke the thesis”.

The signatories of the solidarity statement have said: “(We) are dismayed by IIT-Kanpur’s vindictive attitude towards and actions against the young Scheduled Caste scholar Dr. Saderla. We call upon the institute’s senate to rescind its recommendation to revoke Dr. Saderla’s thesis, and to adhere to the institute’s own Academic Ethics Cell’s recommendations which found “no reason to revoke the thesis.”

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