Pune: Students who are vegetarian and teetotaller will be eligible for gold medals to be given at a Pune university’s convocation by a trust run by a yoga guru, says the institution, drawing flak from some quarters even though the varsity said it does not differentiate anyone on the basis of food habits.

The Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) in a circular, informed affiliated colleges and departments about a gold medal award, constituted in the name of Yog Maharshi Ramchandra Gopal Shelar, alias Shelar Mama for non-science streams postgraduate students for the academic year 2016-17.

 The medal is sponsored by the trust and family members of Shelar Mama.According to the circular, the varsity cited one of the criteria that the student should be “vegetarian and teetotaller”.However, the varsity has claimed that the circular is old and re-issued every year with no change in the content.The circular said the gold medal is given to a student who has completed post graduation in science and non-science stream with merit on alternate years.