Pune University has admitted that they might have to stop conferring the 'Shelar Mama' award if the founders of the honor do not agree to change the controversial clause that only vegetarian students can receive a gold medal.
Registrar of Pune University">Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Dr Arvind Shaliram told ANI on Saturday, "We will request the donors and founders of this award to review the rule. If they are ready to change it then we will be happy but if they refuse then we might have to stop conferring this award."
Dr Arvind emphasised that the University does not differentiate between the students over their food choices but when it comes to deciding what the rules for the 'Shelar Mama' award are, they are helpless.
"The University does not differentiate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian students, but the university cannot do anything about this," he added.
Dr Arvind also added that there has been no controversy over this rule since the last 11 years.
"This rule has been in existence for 11 years and there has been no controversy," he stated.
In 2006, Ram Chandra Shelar, a warkari kirtankar decided to start this award and all the rules for applying for the honor were set by him in accordance to what he himself practised.
"He set the rules in order to promote Indian culture," Dr Arvind said.
Priority for this academic excellence award is given to the students who are vegetarians, teetotallers, practise yoga, donate blood, and also excel in co-curricular activities like drama, oratory, singing and sports.
A social media uproar recently arose over the "vegetarian and teetotaller" clause when the circular was made public.