New Delhi: Scores of students on Monday staged a protest outside the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry here against de-recognition of a students group by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras).

The students, gathered under the aegis of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union, raised slogans against IIT-Madras and the HRD ministry at Shashtri Bhawan, which houses the ministry. 

The Jamia Millia Islamia and Delhi University units of All India Student Association (AISA) also participated in the demonstration.

The protestors said the IIT-Madras has banned Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), a students’ study group, for criticising the central government, as per the directions of the Smriti Irani-led HRD ministry.

“Banning the APSC of IIT-Madras for aptly criticising the government’s inabilities is unfair. There is a need to defend our right to freedom of speech and expression,” said Sandeep Saurav, national general secretary of AISA.

Last week, the IIT-Madras acted against the APSC following an anonymous complaint to the central government that the students group was trying to “create hateful environment” by distributing “controversial pamphlets and posters” on the campus.

The ministry, however, later clarified that the IIT-Madras simply acted according to its own “procedure and institute’s guidelines”.

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