New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken today stood by India U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand, assuring to take up his case with the Delhi University and the St. Stephen`s College authorities.
Unmukt, who played a crucial knock of 111 not out in the final against Australia last Sunday to lead India Under-19 team to the World Cup glory, has been barred from taking the second semester exams because of low attendance and stands to lose a year of college due to low attendance.
"I think, it`s totally unfair. The University and the college authorities instead of disallowing him from exams should find a way out for such sportspersons. I don`t think that this is the right way and I intend to take up the issue with the Delhi university and also with his college," said Maken.
"It`s just because of the sports quota that they induct such international level players into their colleges and universities. So, instead of just saying that we won`t allow you to give exams, they should try and counsel such students.
"They should call them, have special classes and if needed also hold special exams for them,"
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has also supported Unmukt`s case.
"Marks for sports takes back seat attendance for now takes centrestage. This shows how much importance sports has in INDIA. Sad to hear," Dhoni wrote on his Twitter page.
Former Indian cricketer and alumni of St Stephens college Kirti Azad said it was unfair to punish a player who was representing the country.
"When I was representing my country, I used to get special attention for all of that. Unmukt has won the World Cup for us. He is a good young man, he has secured good marks. Penalising him is really unfair on the part of the college," Azad said
However, Indian Premier League commissioner Rajeev Shukla put the ball in Unmukt`s court by stating that the BCCI can`t interfere in the varsity`s rules of attendance.
"It`s purely their own decision, their own procedures and they go by that. We can`t interfere in that. BCCI can only request the college authorities," Shukla told reporters outside Parliament.
The DU rules mandate a student to have at least 33.3 per cent attendance in an academic session after all exemptions, but Unmukt could not attend the requisite number of tutorials owing to his cricketing engagements.
While the cricketer`s case is in the Delhi High Court, St. Stephen`s Principal Valson Thampu said it is up to the University administration to decide as it is the varsity`s rules of attendance.
Unmukt was denied an admit card for the second semester examination in May but the court intervened and asked the college to allow him to sit for the exams.
However, the 19-year-old could appear only in two out of four papers as by the time the court ruling came he had already missed two. His results, and hence promotion, have been withheld pending trial.
The university mandates that a student should pass 50 per cent of all exams in both semesters combined to be promoted.