(BiharTimes) Mr Amartya Sen had accused Nalanda critics like us with “parochial mindset”. In fact, the ad-hoc Governing Board deliberated in Beijing Meeting in October against the “local parochialism”. He did not perform his act in consonance with the terms and conditions of the constitution of the Nalanda Mentor group in June, 2007. He failed to develop any blueprint for the project. Neither did his team submit any Full Report.
The earlier estimate made by EdCIL upon request of Bihar Government remained the authoritative estimate. The high-profile team failed to attract interest of other Asian nation due to their acts of misdeeds and “closed mindset”. They could not generate even the small purse of fund for this historic project. Now, they admit that while the project estimate has soared to $710 million, only a contribution of $1.1million dollar has materialized. If one subtract the $1 million contributed by the Chinese government which can not be used as of now since the same is meant for the Chinese style Library, the team could bring 0.1 million dollar of contribution in last five years. They spent many times more on travel, food and lodging and passed resolution to provide tax-free perk of crores to their connected individuals who were handed over the reins of governance in an arbitrary and opaque manner.
The Governing Board has been deliberating over the toilet facility for the VC and her OSD In Rajgir Office. The OSD to VC gave interview to media that since there was no proper toilet facility in Rajgir, they could not work from there and hence chosen Delhi as the camp office. It is another matter that in all lease and other document, Delhi is marked as the Headquarters of the university in contravention of the Nalanda University Act which clearly states that the HQ shall be located in the district of Nalanda only. Now, Parliament is made to deliberate over the issue of toilet facility of these two ladies by the Ministry of External Affairs. It is pertinent to mention that an employee from Bihar who is on payroll of the University is already stationed at Rajgir Office. So, there is no concern for his toilet facility by the University or the Ministry. Similarly, there is no concern for the toilet facility for 65% of Indian population by the Government.
One is resigned to ask would it not have been better for the questionable VC to build a toilet at Rajgir rather than visiting Honolulu in April, 2011 to attend a conference of a little known Delhi based NGO on Asian affairs along with OSD? Would it not have been better to build a small room for the University rather than sponsoring tickets and other facility to PM’s daughter and four other persons from the budget of Nalanda University to attend Conference in Singapore in December, 2011?
Now, surreptitiously, the Nalanda-nemesis team was planning to shift HQ as well as the First School to Delhi, so that the VC and her friend OSD could not look at the “backward” Bihari faces in Rajgir. The Parliament has rightly taken Ministry to task. When will Parliament seek removal of the questionable VC and all other appointment and hand over the project to genuine and committed enterprising persons who are conversant with Nalanda and Nalanda tradtion? When will Parliament take to task the Nalanda Mentor Group for damaging the wonderful initiative for Asian co-operation on the behest of their white Masters? Now that Parliament has rejected your myopic world view that disgraced oriental glory and native knowledge tradition, Who is parochial, Mr. Sen?
Excerpts from Standing Committee on External affairs, 15th Lok Sabha report on Demand for Grant (2012-13), May, 2012(pp.70-78)
A. Nalanda University:
The setting up of Nalanda University is an ambitious project to build upon the intellectual and cultural traditions of the South-East Asian Region. Furnishing figures for allocation sought, actual allocation and utilization for Nalanda University during the past years in a written submission, the Ministry stated as under:
||7.16 (upto25th March)
-6.2 The Committee desired the Ministry to furnish the reasons for seeking grossly inappropriate allocation for Nalanda since 2009-10 onwards which is not in consonance with the actual ground reality. The Ministry in post-evidence written reply submitted as under:“In anticipation of its formal establishment, an allocation of ` 50 crores was made in BE 2009-10 for the University. Later, the allocation had to be reduced to Rs one crore in RE 2009-10 as the Nalanda University Act itself came into effect only on November 25, 2010. The BE 2010-11 was Rs 5.0 crores, and that for 2011-12, ` 10.00 crores. Hence, there was no inappropriate allocation for Nalanda University during these years.
”6.3 The Committee desired to know the Ministry‟s proposal during Twelfth Five Year Plan, the Ministry stated in a written reply as under:“The university's expenditure plan for the Twelfth Five Year Plan is based on draft Detailed Project Report prepared by Educational Consultants India Ltd. (EdCIL). As already mentioned, the funding requirements projected are ` 3,553 70 crores, or US $ 710.74 million, spread over ten years. Out of this, the funding requirement projected during the 12thFive Year Plan 2012-2017 is ` 2443.19. However, after more detailed analysis and inputs, coupled with actual progress on the ground level, the University is now of the view that the entire amount of capital expenditure may not be required during the 12th Five Year Plan, and may spill into the 13th Five Year Plan.”
6.6 When the Committee specifically desired to know as to why the entire amount of the project was sought from the Planning Commission, when it involved contribution from foreign Governments. The Ministry in post-evidence written reply stated: “The total contributions, pledges and offers by foreign governments and institutions are to the tune of USD 10 million, though the actual contribution materialized so far is USD 1.1 million, thus leaving a huge shortfall, which the Government of India will have to meet. Thus, entire expenditure will have to be borne by the Government of India, given the quantum of international contributions materialized so far.”
6.7 As per the documents furnished by the Ministry, the proposed annual outlay for the year 2012-13 was Rs 598.95 crores, however, only an allocation of Rs 15 crores has been made. The Committee desired to know the reasons for seeking such huge allocation for annual plan 2012-13 at this juncture.
6.13 The Committee further desired to know the reason for location of the School of International Relations in New Delhi instead of Nalanda and whether this cost has been included in the Detailed Project Report prepared by Ed.CIL, the Ministry in post evidence written reply stated:“The decision to locate the School of International Relations in New Delhi was taken by the Nalanda Mentor Group and reaffirmed by the Governing Board subsequently. In its fourth meeting, held in New Delhi on August 12-13, 2008, the Nalanda Mentor Group felt that, while the location of the University would be in the state of Bihar, a School ofInternational Relations could be set up in New Delhi. It was also pointed out in the Patna meeting of the Governing Board in July, 2011 that the University would continue to have a presence in Delhi even after the campus was built in Rajgir. As per Sections 3(c) and 4(5) of the Nalanda University Act, the University is allowed to have centres at different places. The Detailed Project Report, while estimating the cost of the establishment of the said School, has not made any projection for a separate centre of this School in New Delhi.”
6.14 The Committee are dismayed to observe the lack of progress regarding Nalanda University Project. The Committee note that during the Eleventh Five Year Plan, the allocation sought by Ministry for the project was grossly inappropriate as compared to the actual ground reality. The proposed outlay for the year 2012-13 was ` 598.95 crores while the actual allocation of Rs 15 crores has been made under the Plan Head. The Committee are (sic) not at all convinced by the Ministry’s justification in making such huge projections for the year 2012-13 when in all practicality, the University is yet to embark on the Global Designs Competition. The Committee also feel that the time and cost estimate as per the draft DPR prepared by Ed. Cil needs to be reviewed and revised in accordance with the ground realities. The Committee recommend that the Ministry must expedite the process of construction of actual physical infrastructure of this University.
(Recommendation No. 24)
6.15 The Committee noted that though the Ministry plans to have a School of International Studies in Delhi along with a Project Office in same city, the financial projections for same has not been made in the draft DPR. The Committee are not at all convinced with the reasons furnished by the Ministry regarding location of the School and Project Office in Delhi. The Committee strongly feel that both these ideas will defeat the very purpose of setting up of the Nalanda University and are against the spirit of the idea of setting up of the University at the ancient place of knowledge. The Ministry may review at the decision to establishSchool of International Studies at Delhi. The Committee, therefore, desire that the responsibility to develop this Institution should be given to those who are devoted, genuine and committed to make selfless efforts for development of this prime Institution while sitting at the location of the institution and certainly not in Delhi.
The Committee recommend that the School of International Studies under the Nalanda University should be set up at the main University Campus and having capacity to carve out a unique identity for itself and focus upon the issues of cultural diplomacy and cultural engagement so as to imbibe, build upon and advocate the diplomatic and cultural traditions of the region and should endeavor to be a unique and one of its kind which is highly specialized in subjects that are not replicated or stereotyped by other academic institutions or organization.
(Recommendation No. 25)
6.16 The Committee are very concerned about the contents of the curriculum and the standards & quality of the academic courses to be introduced in the Nalanda University. The Committee feel that the course-content, academic - structure as well as faculty for the Nalanda University should be in consonance with the unique identity and academic character of the University that it is envisaged to be and should be able to live up to the founding philosophy and ideas behind the establishment of this University. The Committee feel that the University should emerge as a valuable resource for promotion of studies and research in oriental cultures, literary tradition and languages and civilization based on the native knowledge systems and it should act as a living repository of cultural and literary traditions of the region. This University should strengthen and build upon the cultural capital and carry forward the thread of identity and consciousness within the South-East Asian Countries. The Ministry should endeavour to attain the aim of achieving highest intellectual and academic standards of international quality through this University. The Committee further express their desire that the Ministry should also be a part of all such endeavours being made by the international community in this regard in a proactive manner.(Recommendation No. 26)
MEA Demand for Grants 2012-13
CHAPTER-VI A (Page 70-78)
Why do we need Nalanda International University
Citing lack of toilet facilities, sewage connections, water supply and other basic amenities in Rajgir, Bihar, the governing board (GB) of Nalanda International University has sought to shift its vice-chancellor’s office, along with the crucial School of International Relations and Peace Studies, to New Delhi, defeating the very purpose of reviving the ancient Buddhist Nalanda seat of learning.
The minutes of the GB meeting accessed by the DNA reveal the vice-chancellor, Dr Gopa Sabarwal, emphasising that despite Bihar government allocating a building in Rajgir to work as camp office for the vice-chancellor and its staff, there was no sewage and toilet facility in the building and extensive works were required to make it habitable.
Sabarwal told the GB headed by Nobel laureate Prof Amartiya Sen that the university would continue to have a presence in Delhi ever after the campus is built in Rajgir. She argued that since some of the East Asian countries were part of the project, it would be easy for them to remain in touch with the university through its office in Delhi. “This office will be a part of the public face of the university … Hence, it is essential to have an office in New Delhi,” she said.
The gazette notification issued by the Union government on September 22, 2010 specifically mentions that the university headquarters should be in Rajgir.
Taking offence at the shifting of the project office, a parliamentary panel that scrutinised the grants of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) recently said in its report, “Locating the university in Delhi will defeat idea and the very purpose of setting up this institution.”
The MEA, which is administrative ministry for the university, told the parliamentary panel that it would be easy for its officials to interact regularly with the university in Delhi. The MEA officials further pointed out that the roads between Patna and Rajgir are very narrow and congested and it takes five hours to cover a distance of the 90km.
The ministry had projected an outlay of Rs. 598.95 crore for the year 2012-13 to be spent on the university. But the planning commission axed it down to just Rs15 crore.
The parliamentary panel headed by BJP MP Ananth Kumar also pulled up the MEA for making such huge projections, when the university was yet to embark on the global design competition. Further, no financial projections have been made for the Delhi office.
" Is this not the ultimate "
WHY HAVE WE BEEN PAYING SUCH FAT SUMS TO THESE OFFICIALS AT NIU ?
IT WAS VERY CLEAR THAT THEY WILL NEVER EVER SHIFT TO BIHAR , BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER BROUGHT IN TO BUILD THE UNIVERSITY . ALL THESE 4 APPOINTMENTS WERE DONE SO THAT FAVORS AND HUGE SALARIES AND VERY FREQUENT FOREIGN TRIPS COULD BE GRANTED TO THOSE CLOSE TO ONES IN POWER .
WHAT A SHAME ?
WISH THIS MONEY COULD BE SPENT ON IMPROVING ONE OF THE EXISTING UNIVERSITY AND WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE A WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITY MANY TIMES OVER WITH ALL THE MONEY THAT HAS BEEN WASTED ........ DOING WHAT ? NOTHING ................ ONLY HOLIDAYING FOR THESE LADIES .
WE AS A NATION ARE SO BLIND AND NOW WE WILL ALL SEE THAT THE GOVT WILL ALSO AGREE TO KEEPING THE OFFICE AT DELHI AND MAINTAINING THESE HIGH MAINTENANCE LADIES . THEN WHY IN THE NAME OF NALANDA , WHY CAN IT NOT BE DELHI UNIVERSITY OR BIHAR UNIVERSITY OR ANY OTHER . WHY ARE WE MAKING A MOCKERY OF THE NATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCALE ? WHY CAN NOTHING BE EVER DONE TO STOP SUCH BLATANT CORRUPTION ?
SAD .......VERY SAD !!!!!
WHY ARE WE ALWAYS SO VERY HELPLESS ?
I guess this is another example of how only favoritism works in India and you need to be only connected with the right people to make a fool of the entire Nation as many in govt and power have always done and are continuing to do .