The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) of Devi Ahilya University, Indore suspended 263 students for a week for skipping a Surya Namaskar event.
Confirming it, the head of the Journalism Department, Sonali Nargunde said, "The students had been asked to participate in the Surya Namaskar programme organised by the department, but they skipped the event, forcing us to take action against them. All 263 students of the department have been suspended for indiscipline for a week."
The Surya Namaskar Programmes were held at educational institutes and other government offices on January 12, 2019 to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The Department of Higher Education (DHE) had directed the educational institutes to organise Surya Namaskar and ensure the students presence at the event.
Referring to the directive of the DHE, the journalism department head had asked students to turn up at 8 am to participate in the event.
"Not a single student turned up for the event. Nearly, a dozen students reported after the scheduled time." Nargunde said.
She said, she could not tolerate such indiscipline in the department and so suspended all the students till January 19, 2019.
The students are tight lipped over the issue. However, requesting anonymity a student said, "Is it compulsory to participate in every event of the university? In many events, students have remained absent but were never suspended, then why is the Surya Namaskar so important ? " he asserted.
When contacted, the Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Narendra Dhakad said that he is clueless about the suspension of the students.
He, however, defended the action taken by the HOD of the journalism department saying that the event has been launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"If the students do not participate in national programmes like Surya Namaskar then they should have to face disciplinary actions like suspension," Dhakad said.
The Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari could not be reached despite several attempts.