Post by Arun Singh
Let the facts about Nalanda University be brought in the public domain. I
do not think that the BJP Government is in the wrong here. This mentality
of ours to import Indian born academicians, who have spent their working
lives in the West, and give them the numero uno positions in Indian
universities will not succeed. These people have no idea of the ground
realities in India.
Courtesy: Hem Lohumi (whose post I am sharing)
Amitabh Joshi (for bringing this to my notice)
Sanjeev Sanghi ( for sharing the facts)
Another perspective in the ongoing controversy! Take your pickâŠ
Nalanda University, Amartya Sen and the massive fraud in reconstruction !!
Aside August 26, 2014 February 20, 2015 Shwetank History, Socio Political
Nalanda University was an ancient centre of learning in India, and among
the first great universities in recorded history, predating such
institutions of higher learning like Al-Azhar in Egypt (10th century AD),
the University of Bologna in Italy (11th century AD), and Oxford University
in England (12th century AD). It was also the first ever residential
university in the world, holding capacity for thousands of students to stay
on campus in dorms.
One of the interesting aspects of Nalanda University was its intake of
âinternational studentsâ from as far away as Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, as
well as Southeast, Central, and Western Asian regions. Nalanda Universityâs
appeal to scholars from these regions was due to the fact that it was one
of the most important seats of learning in the Buddhist world. But despite
its focus on the study of Buddhism, students at Nalanda University were
allowed to pursue other areas of knowledge, such as the fine arts,
medicine, astronomy, mathematics, politics, and even the art of war. As a
result, numerous illustrious thinkers were associated with the university.
The real blow to Nalanda came with the arrival ov Muslim invaders in 1197
led by Mohammad Bakhtiyar Khilji, a general of Qutubuddin Aibak, who were
intolerant of the other religions and cultures. Much of the university was
demolished, its priceless library was burnt down and many of its scholars,
including Buddhist monks, were mercilessly slaughtered, in what was one of
the greatest acts of cultural vandalism in India.
The Scam : Private Estate with Public Money
For a long time now Amartya Sen has aired views upon everything except
perhaps economics. He is a âhistorianâ, âpolitical scientistâ,
âphilosopherâ, âsociologistâ, âinstitution builderâ, âself-appointed
non-resident Chancellor, Nalanda Universityâ. He has been adored by Indians
almost as a sage. The Nobel Laureate in Economics (1998) never had any
practical solution for Indiaâs economy in testing times. Neither his
economist friend Manmohan Singh nor his student Kaushik Basu, former Chief
Economic Adviser, could leave it in better shape.
The Govt spent Rs. 2.11 Crore on meetings held by a âMentor Groupâ
constituted under the chairmanship of Prof Amartya Sen in Singapore, Tokyo,
New York & Delhi to conceptualize establishment of the university. The
group formed in 2007 was supposed to file a final report in nine months but
Amartya Sen never bothered to submit even in three years the detailed
project report. The great economist could not even prepare a financial
estimate for the project or bring any funds from abroad. Yet he was made
Chairman of the Governing Board of Nalanda University. And finally the
Board, chaired by him, chose him as the Chancellor in Beijing in 2011. What
could be a better way to cling on to power; enjoy flying trips and luxury
hospitality; and get repeated opportunities to preach to lesser mortals of
India? A courteous media never put uncomfortable questions to him when
scandalous appointments and arbitrary dealings became apparent in Nalanda
N1}. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, who originally
envisioned the project, resigned in disgust but never shared with media why
exactly he left the Nalanda University project. The project was his
brainchild. It was obvious in Kalamâs own words- his letter to the External
Affairs Minister on July 4, 2011. Kalamâs letter to Mr. S. M. Krishna
reveals why he was not in a position to become the first Visitor of the
Nalanda University The MEA suppressed the letter until it was retrieved
through an RTI application.
N2}. Kalam felt frustrated with the people at helm of affairs. His
resignation is evidently a rebuff to Prof. Amartya Sen and his protÃ©gÃ© Dr.
Gopa Sabharwal, smuggled in as the Vice Chancellor-Designate without his
knowledge. Being chairman, Governing Board, Prof. Senâs position is
equivalent to Chancellor (the University officially has none as yet).
Neither Prof. Sen nor Dr. Sabharwal could inspire the confidence of Dr.
With a mind besotted with Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard he views Nalanda
University through that prism. The glory of ancient Nalanda University was
not really that students from all over East Asia came to study there. Its
glory was that committed Pandits like Arya Dev, Silabhadra, Dharmapala,
Santarakshita and Chandragomin spent their lives for the sake of that
institution. But to Prof. Sen âNalanda Universityâ is pure exotica. Had
Amartya declared, having achieved and obtained everything an academician
can dream of, building Nalanda University was his lifeâs mission and he
would settle down in Bihar for that, one could have appreciated it. But
Amartya views âNalanda Universityâ as an opportunity for flying trips (at
the cost of Indian taxpayers) and flowery speeches. The fault lies actually
with Indian establishment. Entrusting the task reviving Nalanda University
to Amartya Sen & Co is testimony of Indiaâs obsequiousness. This
obsequiousness is what Dr. Kalam has repeatedly warned Indians against.
The controversy, however, erupted with the appointment of a âVice
Chancellor, designateâ. In reply to a question on August 25, MEA said no
vice-chancellor has been appointed in Nalanda University. However,
according to an RTI reply, vice chancellor Gopa Sabharwal and seven of her
associates are drawing salaries since October 2010. Vice-chancellor draws
salary of Rs 5,06,513 per month. As per the Act, the headquarters should be
at Nalanda, Bihar, but within two months of Gazette notification on
September 22 last year, were shifted to RK Puram in New Delhi.
Under Government of India Allocation of Business Rules, 1961, MEA is not
authorized to manage or own a university unless part of an
inter-governmental agreement. No inter-governmental agreement exists for
Nalanda University, unlike the South Asian University. The incumbent Gopa
Sabharwal, appointed through an order issued by a secretary in MEA on the
recommendation of the mentor group, is just a reader in the department of
sociology in the Lady Sri Ram College and has nothing to do with the
Buddhist studies for which the university is to be set up. She did not meet
the mandatory qualification set by the University Grants Commission (UGC)
for the vice-chancellors of the central and state universities to be
distinguished academicians with a minimum ten years of experience as a
professor in a university system.
Ignoring the governmentâs recruitment rules that require public notice,
Dr Sabharwal picked up her friend Dr Anjana Sharma, an associate professor
in Delhi University, as the Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) on deputation,
with gross monthly salary of Rs 3.30 lakhs, which is more than the salary
of a Vice-Chancellor in the rest of the country.
The Standing Committee of the ministry says in its report just tabled in
Parliament that the Nalanda project was estimated in 2007 to cost Rs 1,005
crore but this may have to be revised, and that the same mentor group has
now become the interim governing board of the university. In its very first
meeting in February, this board nominated adviser committee to help out and
two persons representing India in it are Ms Upinder Singh, daughter of
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and her colleague Ms Nayanjot Lahiri, who
are not experts on any aspect of the Nalanda tradition or history.
But as Amartya Senâs letter to Pranab Mukherjee, i.e., February 2009
reveals he recommended three names for the post of Rector. They were in
order of preference a) Dr. Gopa Sabharwal b) Dr. Ramchandra Guha and c) Dr.
Pratap Bahanu Mehta.
How the names of the three candidates were shortlisted; how was the
selection process conducted; and who were there in the search committee is
a closely guarded secret. As far as one understands (a) the plump post was
never advertised/publicised (b) no search committee was constituted c)
there was no interview or selection process and d) Ramachandra Guha and
Pratap Bhanu Mehta were never contacted for this top job. Amartya Sen never
submitted any supporting papers related to the selection.
N3}. Amartya Senâs criticism of Narendra Modi is also a product of
political sponsorship. It has to be understood in the perspective of the
âpolitics of obligationâ practised within the Amartya Sen-JD(U)-UPA
triangle. The cornerstone of this relationship is vested in the Nalanda
University project. It is this fraudulent project that binds Amartya Sen,
UPA and Nitish Kumar. It extends to supporting the policies of Manmohan
Singhâs Government in New Delhi and Nitish Kumarâs Government in Bihar. In
fact Manmohan Singh and Nitish Kumar are both using Amartya Sen to validate
their policies (including follies).
N4}. Many primary school buildings are better than this building worth
several hundred crores.
Amartya Sen is threatening to resign after the finance ministry raised
pointed queries on the financial management of the varsity, said an Indian
Express report. The varsity has been granted a massive Rs 2,727 crore
financial support package over a period of 12 years. The finance ministryâs
Department of Expenditure has asked the Ministry of External Affairs, the
nodal ministry for the project, the reasons why government rules should not
apply to the project, said the Indian Express report.
Nalanda University has become a private estate with public money in the
name of autonomy. Amartya has no fig leaves to the hide himself. Only the
media is not asking him the right questions.
PS: Views expressed here are of my own, I am neither related to any
political outfit/ organisation, Nor I am endorsing any party views, This
analysation is mine based on the excerpts received from different sources.
On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 11:05 PM, Protyush Chatterjeesopedis <
Post by Protyush Chatterjeesopedis
I cannot agree with you. The fact cannot be disputed that there have
been unwarranted interference by the governments in the educational
institutions, irrespective of the state and the ruling party. People of
unquestionable stature should be left out of poilitics. Amartya Sen is a
personality of that status. Just because he is not too enthusiastic about
Modi, the government is not too interested about Amartya Sen.
Dr P Chatterjee
On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 5:18 PM, Venkatraman Ns <
Post by Venkatraman Ns
*India Against Corruption *
Senâs outburst after being denied second term*
*On being denied second term as Chancellor of Nalanda University,
Amartsya Sen has criticised the Modi government and accused it of
threatening the academic freedom. Obviously, Amartya Sen would not have
said this if he has been given a second term. His reaction sounds like that
of a typical politician in India, who views any situation considering his
personal interests. *
*Amartya Sen has completed his term as Chancellor of Nalanda University
and his term has not been disturbed in the middle. Certainly, the
government has the duty, responsibility and authority to decide as to who
should be the next chancellor and the decision need not always go in faour
of incumbent. Person like Amartya Sen, a Nobel laurete who gets lot of
publicity in the Indian media , should understand this prerogative of the
*By no stretch of imagination , one can say that not providing a
second term for the Chancellor amount to threaten the academic freedom.
Certainly, there are people in India who are equally suitable or even may
be more suitable than Amartya Sen for the job and the government is
entitled to examine such possibilities.*
*It is unfortunate that Amartya Sen has viewed the issues relating to
academic freedom in India in such a restricted way such as posting of
*It is known that Amartya Sen has given an impression that he is a
pledged critic of Narendra Modi and his recent interview in the media not
only talks about his not being given a second term but also highly
critical remarks about Modiâs governance, which is unwarranted from a
person holding position as Chancellor of University.*
*Nandini Voice For The Deprived*
WWW : http://indiaagainstcorruption.net.in
WWW : http://indiaagainstcorruption.net.in
WWW : http://indiaagainstcorruption.net.in