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Patna University tries to break down caste barriers in its hostels
September 03, 2007 13:43 IST
In a significant step in a state notorious for caste conflicts and violence, authorities of the Patna University have decided to do away with the caste system prevalent in the university hostels. This year, authorities have decided to allocate hostel seats on the basis of a student's merit list and choice of subjects, not caste.
Till recently, each hostel was unofficially named after a particular caste, and members of that caste used to dominate it. But now the university has decided to end this system, as it further segregates students along caste lines.
"The university will ensure that every hostel has a heterogeneous composition and no hostel is dominated by a particular caste," Ejaz Ali Arshad, Dean of Students' Welfare, told rediff.com.
But he admitted that the university has a tough task on its hands, given the caste-ridden atmosphere in Bihar. "Let us hope the university succeeds in this endeavour," said Arshad.
"Some students have been trying to create trouble for the university authorities on this issue," said a senior university official.
The official said that the name of these hostels will be changed to remove the caste tag attached to them.
"Earlier, students belonging to the Kurmi caste used to live in the Patel hostel. Students from the Yadav community preferred the Yadav hostel, while Muslims stayed in Fakhruddin hostel. But this system will not continue any longer," said the official.
Each hostel will also have a common mess for all students.