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Ten Reasons behind dissociation of former President Kalam from
Nalanda Project


Niraj Kamal*

New Delhi,(BiharTimes): Revival of Nalanda university as a centre of excellence linking past wisdom and future knowledge was a pet project of former President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. It was he  who as the President of the Republic proposed the  idea while addressing the Joint Session of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal on 28th March, 2006. His decision conveyed to the media through his office that he is no longer involved with Nalanda university is not a spur of the moment. He has keenly observed the merry-making exercise and the loot of public money by a small coterie steeped in western tradition.  There are ten reasons that can be attributed to this thoughtful decision by a great character like Abdul Kalam.

1.The NMG did not take the task seriously and  never worked as per time-schedule

The Government of India decided to revive Nalanda University as a Centre for Buddhist and secular Learning with the support and participation of East Asia summit (EAS) nations which share common Buddhist heritage. This was a laudable effort. The then foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee appointed a Mentor Group under the Chairmanship of Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen vide D.O.letter dated 28th June, 2007 with term of reference delineating submission of final recommendations in a report within a period of nine months from the date of composition. The NMG was entrusted with the task of  making proposals to facilitate the revival of Nalanda as a centre of Cultural exchange between east and South Asia reflecting the role played by ancient Nalanda University that flourished for a millennium before being destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1197A.D. The NMG was also entrusted to examine the framework and structure of international cooperation and partnership which would govern the establishment of the University and to fund out the modalities for finance for the establishment of the University and its long term financial needs. The first meeting was held in Singapore on July 13-15,2007 and the time frame of nine month to submit the report commenced from this date. The NMG had to submit a report by 15th April, 2008.What to say about Report, the NMG did not bother to even visit Nalanda-Rajgir even though the region is in the global tourist radar.   They held meetings in Tokyo(14-16Dec.2007), New York(2-3 May,2008), New Delhi(12-13 August,2008) and wind up Meeting at Gaya (28-29Feb.2009).

2. The NMG indulged in splurging money on meetings and the gatherings were mere social gatherings of alumni

The total expenditure incurred by mere Government of India on these meetings is Rs.1.71 crores. This is the expenditure made by merely Government of India. The host countries bore expenditures separately. Inspite of lapse of almost three and half year, the NMG didn’t submit any Final Report. The Executive Recommendations run into dozen odd pages with no deliberation over the issues delineated in the term of reference.

3. The NMG  did not work as per the mandate

The only big achievement of the NMG in accordance with the Term of Reference was to appoint an Advisory Council ((para(7) of the Term of Reference). In the 19-Member Advisory Council, there are two members frok India-Upinder Singh and Nayanjot Lahiri, both of them from the same Centre in Delhi University. While Upinder Singh  happens to be the daughter of the Prime Minister of India, Nayanjot Lahiri is the friend and co-author –cum-researcher with Upinder Singh. It is pertinent to mention that though the idea of revival of Nalanda University was to use  Buddhist heritage of Asia to build theme for Asian integration, no Buddhist scholar or master was either included in the NMG or in the Advisory Council, both of which are littered with the alumni of Harvard-Cambridge Universities.

The NMG submitted few page executive recommendation in December, 2009 which is mere trash and failed to even make an estimate bout expenditure to be made on the project, though they recommended salary of VC as rs.2.5 lakh per month .The NMG failed to evolve any modalities for  generating finance, a task given to them under the Term of reference.

4. The NMG made mockery of Parliament

The Cabinet approved introduction of Nalanda University Bill into Parliament on 8th July,2010. The Bill was pending introduction after the Cabinet decision. But, the NMG circumvented all parliamentary norms to hold another meeting on 2-3 August,2010 at New Delhi and paraded the proposed Vice Chancellor at a press conference in the Taj Hotel. Once the NMG had submitted final recommendation as few page Executive Summary in December, 2009; it ceased to exist as per the term of Reference. Without proper  authorization, the meeting of the NMG once its role  was over after submission of few page executive report in December, 2009 after the wind-up Meeting in Gaya (28-29Feb,2009) , the aforesaid meeting was held in a top rated hotel of Delhi .How can the  defunct NMG hold an official meeting after the Cabinet decision pending parliamentary proceedings? This was the subversion of parliamentary processes.

5. The NMG have powerful backers who do not bother about Nalanda and who short-circuited procedures to extend ‘free” privileges to NMG

There is suspicious alacrity of  events. On 21st August the Nalanda University Bill was introduced in the Rajya sabha as Bill No. XLIX of 2010. It was Saturday  and most of the M.P. were off being unaware that it was a special Saturday, devised to get  a dubious enactment. Para 4 of the  Financial Memorandum explicitly mentions:

“the Bill does not involve any other expenditure of recurring or non-recurring nature from the consolidated Fund of India.”

The Bill was introduced by the Ministry of External Affairs. The running of University is not a business allowed to the MEA as per the Allocation of Business Rules,1961. Though in 2010, the Cabinet Secretariat carried out a Review of the Allocation of Business Rules, 1961 (subsequently amended 299 times until July 13, 2011), University education is a business of the M/o HRD and not the MEA. No concessions have been preferred to MEA with regard to Nalanda University. Before the MEA could have introduced this bill on ground of international diplomacy, the Allocation of Business rules had to be amended and approved by the President of India, the competent authority. The Section 44 of the aforesaid Nalanda University Act repealed the university of Nalanda Act,2007 passed by Bihar Assembly in 2007(Act 18 of 2007). No constitutional provisions or reasons for the same was provided in the Bill. Moreover, the Bill aimed to extend the privileges to the partying men of the NMG  by appointing them as the Interim Governing Board for a period of one year or till such time the members of the Governing Board in consonance of Section 7 of the Bill were appointed. The members of NMG included persons like George Yeo, who was the then foreign Minister of Singapore. The Bill was passed without referring to the Standing Committee of Parliament for detailed scrutiny that included bestowing power and privileges to foreign nationals upon administering institutions of Central Government within territory of India. It was not done to implement any international treaty or obligation since neither any Inter Government Agreement was signed nor proposed. The NMG was not constituted by the East Asia summit and there was no legal backing to this motley group of Oxbridge-Harvard brown brigade. Thus, by avoiding the route of Standing Committee in such a serious issue of law  intentionally, powerful people  circumvented the due legislative process to bestow benefits surreptitiously to own coterie. This Bill required to be sent to the Standing Committee of the Parliament to check the legalities that involved federal as well as international aspect and continuance of an incompetent and dysfunctional NMG led by Amartya Sen. On the contrary, the Bill was introduced within a week in the Lok Sabha and passed without any amendment or reading of the Bill with intact discrepancies on 26th July,2010. Once it was passed, the Act was sent for President’s assent at alarming speed. The Act received President’s assent on 21st September, 2010 and within 24 hours, it was notified in the gazette Part-II, Section-I vide No.48 as the ct No.39 of 2010. It is pertinent to mention that hand-to-hand notification is done only in the utmost matters of national importance. Thus, an Act to extend privilege to a coterie under the guise of NMG was notified within two month of the Cabinet decision.

6. The appointment of fake VC was made secretly

The Act was signed by the President of India on 21st September. The Act came into force on 25th November, 2010. But, the  fake VC was appointed by the NMG much before and the decision communicated on 9th September, 2010 in violation of the Constitutional structure. The fake VC is being paid fat salary of more than Rs.5 lakh a month from the government account. No procedure or statute was followed to handpick a VC which does not qualify for even becoming a VC of a small University in the state. No other candidate was invited and Nalanda tradition where even students were allowed to enter the premises only after tough dialogue, has been handed over to an untested, ineligible person. Now, the MEA has said in writing on the House of Parliament on 25th August that no VC has been appointed. Thus, the VC projected by the NMG/GB which had no power to appoint VC under the Act (the power vests with the Visitor/ President of India) is illegal and criminal act of forgery. The VC has to be appointed only by the Visitor  as per Section 15(1) of  Nalanda University Act.

7.  Quid pro quo is the game  being played by powerful people under the garb of  Nalanda revival

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Amartya Sen are alumni of British Universities in same subject and known friends for decade. PM bestowed privileges to his friend and even gifted more than 4.5 million dollar to Harvard University in  year 2008 to start a Chair in the name of Amartya Sen, while on the other hand Amartya Sen prevailed upon his colleagues in Cambridge University to start Chair in the name of Manmohan Singh. PM gives Amartya Sen an NMG  post to move at Indian taxpayer's money across the world. In reciprocation,  Amartya Sen gave Manmohan's daughter a place in the Advisory Council of the NMG. It is all mutual give & take. India seems to be on sale. Same pattern is seen with other members. George Yeo has been given a place in the NMG/GB and George Yeo gave another member Tansen Sen a place in an institute founded by him in Singapore.

8. The HQ was shifted from district of Nalanda to Kamkoti Marg, New Delhi 

The HQ of the Nalanda University shall be in the district of Nalanda as per the Nalanda University Act. But, to facilitate the full and “free” control of the helms of affair by the  fake VC, her OSD  and other lady members who all  are long time friends and  working in same campus in Delhi University, this action was taken.

9. Former President Kalam was invited  again  for the Visitor post in 2011  only to make him scapegoat

President Kalam was appointed as Visitor under the Nalanda Act, 2007 passed by  Bihar  Assembly. But, once the Act was repealed by the Nalanda university Act ,2010 by the Union Parliament in  August ,2010. The Union Act made President of India as the Visitor of the University as per Section 12(1) of the  Nalanda University Act,2010. Earlier in 2007, Kalam was President as well as  designated as inaugural Visitor and there was no dichotomy. But, post-2010 Nalanda university Act, Kalam could not have been the Visitor. Though, there is a provision under the Act that the President can nominate any person to be the Visitor not exceeding five years as may be specified in the Order. On the other hand,  Section 5 (e) of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 of the Union  mentions:

“5(e) the Visitor of the University of  Nalanda,  appointed under the provisions of the University of Nalanda Act,2007 shall be deemed to have been appointed to be the nominee of the Visitor and such nominee b also the first Visitor under this Act for a period of five years from the date of commencement of this Act;”

  In view of this section,  the legal experts interpret that Kalam  continued to be the Visitor from the date of commencement of the Act i.e. 25th November, 2010 and will remain Visitor till 25th November, 2015.Till now,  the Interim  Governing Board which came into force only after 25th November, 2010 never  met the Visitor and took arbitrary decisions like shifting the HQ and appointment of VC and other persons. When the NMG paraded Gopa Sabharwal as inaugural VC in August, 2010 in Taj Hotel, Delhi, the NMG  had ceased to exist as it submitted executive Recommendations after wind up meeting in Gaya. The constitution of the NMG as Interim Governing Board for maximum of one year was done by the Union Act which became effective only on 25th November, 2010. Amartya Sen and his wo/-men laid a trap  by offering Kalam  a letter to join as Visitor in July, 2011 as per reports in media. This would have been another gross violation of the Parliamentary Act and the usurping of Presidential power. Amartya Sen has no power to invite or  nominate Kalam as the Visitor. This was being done to later legitimize their all wrong doings in appointment of  fake VC and her OSD. Since neither the   President  nor the  Visitor i.e. Kalam had approved the appointment of ineligible VC, the NMG sought to get the VC formally appointed by first  roping in Kalam as Visitor after legal complexity arose in their way of formally getting the ineligible VC appointed , which they are not authorized to do. Once they would have got the pending appointments cleared from  Kalam as the Visitor, the criticism could have been diverted against Kalam .

10. Kalam is spiritual and steeped in Nalanda tradition unlike NMG Members

Kalam is deeply spiritual  and simple man. He even did not marry and continue to practice austerity for self-evolution .But, the Nalanda Mentor group chairperson, Amartya Sen has married thrice, divorced his wives, left his children  midway. Most of the members have similar history. For them, religion is anathema. Amartya Sen went steps ahead to abuse Dalai Lama in a prèss conference in Delhi after NMG meeting in August, 2010. Kalam is known as an old friend of Dalai Lama. He must have apprehended the treatment that could have come his way has he got involved in the Nalanda project under the stewardship of current team, almost all of them having no commitment for either quest of knowledge or spirituality or simplicity. For this motley group, Nalanda is mere a brand to masquerade as “big man”  to cover up their own inferiority complex.

Kalam’s decision was timely and appropriate at this juncture.


*(Niraj Kamal is the President of Society for Asian Integration)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report are purely those of the author and may not in any circumstances be regarded as the official view of BiharTimes.



Bihar Times has yet again made great service to the people India through a story on NIU By Niraj Kamal, "Ten reasons behind dissociation of Ex-President of India APJ From Nalanda University!" and other related stories and excellent comment of Indira Sharma Jee on the recent controversy over the proposed university. The story has rightly exposed the evil design of mentor group, led by Amartya Sen the union government led by Manmohan Singh etc to set up the proposed university.The dream of the university on the ruins of ancient Nalanda university was originally concieved by the world-fame missile scientist, Physics and mathematics Schoar, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam-right!Subsequently union government enacted a comprehensive bill in 2007 in Parliament and ther ball started rolling for opening centre of excellence for learning and knowledge. An economist of Harvard university of Indian origin, Prof Amartya Sen was selected as head of the mentor group of the university alongwith other members from stake holder countries, China, Japan, Singapore, India etc alongwith a pack of members from among intellectuals , serving in Eurore and US academic world including Meghnath Desai, One Sen etc .They always have been serving the Eurproen And American universities and educational bodies, being non=residents citizens of India and now they have suddenly showing keen interest with new economic policy, departing socilism by the centre.
Mentor group was given task likes frame work, structure, modalities of funding etc to fecilitate the revival of the centre of excellence of cultural exchanges between east and south Asia countries within nine months.Sadly after holding over half a dozen meetings beginning from July 13 to 15 in 2007 to till date in various stake-holdrrs countries- the mentor group is yet to submit the final report even after seven years of its constitution.
More over mentor group constituted advisory group, comprising many persons including a teacher in Delhi university Upinder Upinder, the daughter of the prime minister Manmohan singh and one her close friend Navnjot Lahori etc. Mentor group did not care to appoint other eminent personality from academic world, like Buddhist scholars etc.From here , the click started being enacted by Mentor group of Sen. Advisory group was mainly entrusted to find out a suitable vice-chancellor for the university.Delhi circle was agog with concrete gossips that mentor group led by Sen was very much keen to appoint Upinder Singh as v-c of the university asmong the over 20 aspirants for the post-but some hurdles at Manmohan Singh and his family level bulldozed the idea of Sen-but of course Upender was herself very much interested for the post.!Many others including Ram Chandra Guha had refused the offer , extended by Sen to become V-C of the university.
Subesequently Sen and his mentor group surreptiously appointed Gopa Sabharwal as the V-c in forged manner and informed the union government- her appointment not only violated the Nalanda university act, passed by the parliament but other statutory obligation. And today's one national daily, Sen has defended Gopa appointment as V-C?
Not only that , on huge salary of over Rs 5 lakh per month to Gopa and her colleague one Ms Sharma as officer on specisl duty of the university on the salary of Rs 3.5 lakh. apart from this, the mentor group has spent over Rs three crore of India government in holding meetings at different places without any substansive result. Intrestingly, APJ, who was the brain child of the project and appointed Visitor of the university, was g sidelined by sen and his mentor group and ultimately APJ dissaociated from the affairs of the university.
The article has intensively quoted the acts and rules of the proposed university and taken into consideration the imperialist and capitalist design of America and Europe in shaping the university. And Manmohan Singh one of the partners of Sen as both of them belonged to the same class of imperialism and capitalism propounder because of their education in Europe and US alongwith other US and European style of scholars, who are the members of the mentor group. These all reflect the real evil design of the mentor group, led by Sen and union government to torpedo the ambitous projects. Sidelining of APJ, who was once Visitor of the university, has hurt the feelings of India as a whole. APJ has feeling of Indian masses unlike foreign , imperialist, capitalist harnbinger Like Sen, Manmohan , Meghnath Desai, one another Sen of the mentor group. APJ is a simple person, deeply involved in religious pursuits and serving the nationa throughout the life not like Amartya Sen, who served foreign lands and now suddenly at his ripe age has become harbinger of Indian masses through his NGO-Pracchi, doing lot of assignments in collaboration with Adri , another NGO led by Saibal Gupta, who is staunch supporter of Nitish govt and his so called development of Bihar for bringing moon to the people of Bihar, for bihar and Jharkhand .Both the states being ruled by NDA alliance partners. Sen's NGO is being hefly paid for carrying various projects of Bihar and Jharkhand government!
Last but not the least what anybody in India can expect from Sen, who HAS BECOME DEEPLY ROOTED IN WESTERN CULTURE, forgeting and bypassing Indian culture and civilisation, has married thrice, divorced wives, left children and now giving gospel truth about Indian culture and civilisation-What another joke being played with Indian people by Amartya Sen?

K K Singh



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