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In the name of Nalanda, Saheli University emerges!


Niraj Kamal*


Nalanda University has attracted controversies even before the boundary wall has been erected for the campus at Nalanda. But, the blame goes to Amartya Sen led Nalanda Mentor Group which has contributed significantly in reducing this University into an institution mired in nepotism, favoritism and outright arbitrary acts and loot of public exchequer.

The controversy is raging against fat salary and to non-appointed VC and her OSD, both being friends and co-authors. But, there have  been other names which expose the blatant misdeeds of Amarty Sen-led NMG.

 From India, only four persons seems to have been involved besides Nalanda Mentor Group and all of those happen to be close friends from a single campus, Delhi University. The four sahelis from same campus viz. Gopa Sabharwal, Anjana Sharma, Upinder Singh and Nayanjot Lahiri are the only scholars and administrators of repute that a billion- strong population of India has produced to steer the signifier of Asian renaissance, Nalanda University.

 Upinder Singh is a Professor of Ancient Indian History in Delhi University. She is the eldest daughter of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.two others being Daman Singh, a budding novelist and Amrit Singh, an American citizen married to an American.

Nalanda Mentor group constituted by the Minister of external Affairs in June, 2007 appointed   an Advisory Council in its very first meeting held in Singapore from  July 13-15,2007. Here is the list :

  1. Prof. Tan Chung
  2. Dr. Lincoln Chen, President, China Medical Board
  3. Mr. Taufik Abdullah, former Director of Indonesian Institute of Sciences
  4.  Prof. Victor Mair, Unniversity of Pennsylvania
  5. Prof. Nayanjot lahiri, University of Delhi
  6. Prof. Upinder Singh, University of Delhi
  7. Prof. Shelson Pollock, Colombia University
  8. Prof. Charles Wilemen, University of Ghent, Belgium
  9. Prof. R.Gombich, Oxford university
  10. Prof. Higuchi Takayasu, Tokyo university
  11. Mr. John Power, Australia
  12. Ms. E. Guthrie, New Zealand
  13. Prof Khoo Kay Kim, University of Malaya
  14. Dr. Prapat, Thailand
  15.  Prof. Ishii Yoneo, Tokyo, Japan
  16. Prof. Stanley Tambiah, Harvard University
  17.  Prof. Kim Yong-pyo, Dongguk University, ROK
  18. Prof Le Manh That, Vice President, Vietnam Buddhist University
  19. Prof. Lee Oh Liong, Professor at Rika Women’s University, former Minister of Culture, ROK

The 19-Member Council contained only two names from  India, Upinder Singh and Nayanjot Lahiri, both belonging to same stream of archaeology and ancient Indian history . Both have co-authored many of the works and  are close friends being in same campus in Delhi university.

 Some of the co-authored work by the two ladies  representing India in the Advisory Council are as follows:


  1. 2009.  Upinder Singh, Nayanjot Lahiri,eds. Ancient India: New Research. N. Delhi, Oxford University Press.


1.  1999:  Upinder Singh, Nayanjot Lahiri: “In the shadow of Delhi: Understanding the     landscape through village eyes.” In Peter J. Ucko and Robert Layton edited, The Archaeology and Anthropology of  Landscape (Routledge, 1999). This paper was  presented at the 1994 World Archaeological Congress, New Delhi.

2.1996:  Upinder Singh,Nayanjot Lahiri and Tarika Oberoi: “Preliminary Field Report  on the Archaeology of Faridabad -- the Ballabgarh Tehsil,” Man and Environment XXI (1).

 Recently, Nayanjot Lahiri and Upinder Singh co-coordinated jointly Buddhist revival in Asia Conference  in 2010 under the aegis of Nalanda Sriwijaya Centre with another NMG member, Tansen Sen.

 It is pertinent to mention that  this centre in Singapore  was founded by another NMG Member, George Yeo, the then Foreign Minister of Singapore. The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Singapore is proposed to become a regional Centre under the Nalanda University in later phase. There is a fear that the 19-Member  Advisory Council will be appointed as the first Academic Council of the Nalanda University and this is the reason of slowly getting Upinder Singh and Nayanjot Lahiri involved with Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre. This    fear is founded upon the insertion of Clause 43 (c) which is reproduced herein:

  43(c) the first Academic Council shall consist of not ore than nineteen member, who shall be nominated by the Governing Board and they shall hold office for a term of three years.

The correspondence of number nineteen in both Advisory Council created arbitrarily by putting up acquaintances and the Academic Council  is not a mere coincidence. The  issue gets murkier as recently an Advisory Council Member, Dr. Prapat of Thailand has been roped into  Interim Governing Board arbitrarily by the NMG/GB,  though they have no authority to alter the composition of the Interim Governing Board.

*(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.



Niraj Kamal has done tremendous service to the people of the country in exposing the misdeeds of Amartya sen and his mentor group of the Proposed Nalanda university in the last five years to pack up the university and its mangament of affairs to four women, belonging to the same Delhi university campus instead of doing the assigned job of shaping up the university through mentor group, consituted by union government, with substantial and authenticated facts and figures!
More over these four sahelis or sakhis--Gopa Sabharwal, the V-C of the university, Anjana Sharma, the osd of the university, and Upinder singh, daughter of the prime minister Manmohan singh and Nayanjoti Lahiri, both from the core committee for appointment of VC for the university--have high connection in the corridor of power besides their so called influences and the so called academicians role in the so called academic world of the country by knowledge and intellectual brokerings like Sen-rest reputed academicians in the country are just "men \women"in the country, who do not matter in shaping the university by thementor group led by Amartya Sen! Strangely , all these four women are correlated in the academic circles as co-authors, sahelis, sakhis with high connections and other extra-curricular activities.
tThe union government, which is pioneering the university project by enacting a law, passed by the Parliament, alongwith stake-holders countries-China, Singapore, Japan etc, is keeping mum over the issue, which has aggaravated to such extend that question of the ambitous project is being questioned in the academic world and people of the country with the severing of the connection by the foremer president of the country and eminent scientist-cum-missile man. APJ ABDUL KALAM from the university affairs being disgusted with the ongoing affairs in the university and dubious role being played by the mentor group chairman Sen. More over CM of Bihar Nitish Kumar, although a very active participants to set university in Nalanda, is keeping golden silence and intrestingly speaking nothing about ongoing affairs and misdeeds of mentor group led by sen!
People of India owe an explaination from Manmohan Singh to clear the thaw, surrounding the question over final shape of the university and to start teaching from the acdemic session of 2013as planned earlier. Only trifle issue, the ruling Congress partner of UPA govt always speaks their mind why not on Nalanda university, the prestige of the country? Is Amartya Sen , a borrowed NRI, always served the interest of imperialist America , so indispensible that the university cannot be set up without him, even after bungling the matters of the university? Sen claims that he is economist of repute and winner of Nobel prize everybody knows what type of people (serving capitalitss's and imperialists's interest in the world are awarded reputed Nobel prize thesedays) get Nobel Prize-Sen is not a class of people many think-there are many known scholars are cuurently very much active in the country to head the mentor group and resolve the ticklish matter without any delay.Sen never remembered the country since he left the country for US for his own laurels and now at the fag end of his career, he has become champion of Indian academic circles- is this not surprising? what contribution of Sen to India except floating NGO, Pratchchi to mint money in India, specially in Bihar and Jharkhand?

K K singh, Journalist, Patna, Bihar.




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