Ten Questions Nalanda University must reply


By a Special Correspondent

(Bihar Times)The Governing Board meeting of the Nalanda University is taking place in Patna today. It is being hosted surreptitiously that people of Bihar would wonder at it. But many other things about the Nalanda University had been kept in wraps so tightly as to evoke suspicion. The University placed an ad in Times of India on Wednesday regarding tendering of land survey work. But the secretiveness about the Governing Board meet perhaps shows that they are running away from the civil society of Bihar!

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It is the first official meeting of the Board in 2012, after its term was extended last November. The Board, which met thrice in 2011, will meet for the first time in eight months after its renewal. It failed to constitute a regular Governing Board as per specification in Clause 7 of the Nalanda University Act. The Patna meeting might end up as its last meeting as well before the November 24, 2012 deadline expires. The MEA cannot twice invoke surreptitiously the Clause 41 of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 to extend its term. The Planning Commission is now thus speaking about amending the Nalanda University Act, 2010. The signs are ripe that the Nalanda University project has failed. Efforts to keep it on ventilation will not work.

There is, however, a scroll of charges against the Nalanda University and MEA. The University and the Ministry must reply to them-

1. How is that the MEA running the Nalanda University against Government of India Allocation of Business Rules? The MEA is neither authorized nor competent to run any University.

2. What mechanism does the MEA posses to monitor quality in the Nalanda University? This is important because the University is not regulated by the University Grants Commission?

3. How is the University with an expenditure projected at Rs. 3,553 crores over ten years, and Rs.600 crores appx during 2012-13 is being established without any appraisal or sanction from the Finance Ministry?

4. Why the appointment of the Rector, later arbitrarily changed to Vice Chancellor (Designate), of the university took place stealthily without any wide publicity or following a due procedure.

5. How is that a Vice Chancellor, who herself has never taught University level (post-graduate) students, is heading an iconic University? Who are the other academicians (outside the Governing Board) associated with the Project?

6. Why did the Vice Chancellor viz. Dr. Gopa Sabharwal create plump posts like OSD (University Development) and OSD (Finance) to accommodate her friends and associates?

7. With Planning Commission constituting a committee to grant more autonomy to Nalanda University, how will it prevent the University from becoming a law unto itself?

8. Have any East Asia Summit nation signed any inter-governmental treaty or agreement with Government of India on the Nalanda University?

9. Is it not a fact that the MEA officials admitted before the Standing Committee on External Affairs that the Government of India would have to wholly fund the project because no Asian country has come forward with any monetary commitment?

10. Is the Nalanda University ready for a Social Audit? It should not be surprised if such a demand is being made tomorrow.


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