No attempt to curtail Amartya Sen tenure, says government

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New Delhi, Feb 20: The government Friday clarified that there was no attempt to curtail the tenure of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen as chancellor of the prestigious Nalanda University, a multi-nation initiative that began its academic session last September.

In the wake of Sen writing to the Governing Board of Nalanda University withdrawing his candidature for a second term, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said there has been no attempt to curtail the tenure of Sen, which is on till July.

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Akbaruddin also said the ministry has not yet received the approved minutes of the meeting of the governing board of Nalanda University from the members, in order to forward it to the Visitor, who is the president of India, for approval.

The governing board in its meeting in January had approved giving Sen another term as chancellor.

Akbaruddin said the draft of the minutes of the meeting was received Feb 13 with a covering that it was to be approved in two weeks time.

He said the approved minutes has not yet been received, and there was "still time".

According to the spokesperson, the January meeting had also put forward two options - of giving Sen another term after it ends in July, and also to provide the Visitor, President Pranab Mukherjee, with an alternate list of three names to choose from.

He said it was up to President Mukherjee to take a call on the issue if Sen decides to withdraw his candidature.

Sen in a letter to the board withdrew his candidature for a second term as chancellor, citing delay in the government approval for his continuation.

"This delay, as well as the uncertainty involved, is leading, in effect, to a decisional gap, which is not helpful to Nalanda University's governance and its academic progress. I have, therefore, decided that in the best interest of Nalanda University, that I should exclude myself from being considered for continuing as chancellor beyond this July, despite the unanimous recommendation and urging of the governing board for me to continue," Sen wrote in his letter.

IANS

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