AHINDA, a federation of minorities, backward classes and Dalits, has demanded transparency in the selection of candidates by Mangalore University for conferring honorary doctorate degrees.

The university will be conferring honorary doctorate on seven persons during the convocation on Tuesday.

Its representatives told presspersons here on Monday that the university should evolve guidelines for choosing eligible persons for honorary degrees. The university, being run with public money, was accountable in this regard, they said.

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While refusing to clearly state whether undeserving persons had been chosen this year, its working president Lolaksha said that many deserving persons had been left out.

A statement signed by Mr. Lolaksha, its president Vasudev Boloor and general secretary B.A.M. Hanif said that those who could have been considered for this year's honorary degrees included intellectual and leftist B.V. Kakkilaya, singer Mocharu Gopal Naik, peace activist Hajabba of Pavoor and cooperative leader Ammembal Balappa.

They said the university should follow a transparent system so that people could know who were the contenders for the honorary degrees and who were selected and on what basis.

While AHINDA did not expect to decide the criteria in this regard, it was demanding that a set of guidelines be put in place for the next convocation, they said.

They also supported Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh who recently removed the traditional gown and headgear while addressing a convocation in Bhopal. They said the tradition was a reflection of colonialism and subservience and should be discarded. The traditional dress of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts could be used during the convocation of Mangalore University.

Mr. Lolaksha said AHINDA did not have a plan of action for reaching the benefits of the Right to Education Act to children belonging to minorities, Dalits and backward classes. The number of children in the age group of 6 to 14 belonging to these sections was not readily available. It was being compiled, he said.

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