Indira Gandhi's name dropped from Oxford centre

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After the NDA government came to power in 2014, a center named after former PM Indira Gandhi established by Somerville college in the University of Oxford has dropped her name, reports said.

Indira Gandhi's name dropped from Oxford centre. PTI file photo

The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD) was named the Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development at its launch during the tenure of the Manmohan Singh government. The center has been established in 2013 with a £3 million grant from India, reports Hindustan Times.

Gandhi studied Modern History in Somerville college in 1937.

HT cites an "Education Brief" of the Indian government dated December 1, 2016, which suggested the name was changed during the year. College officials, however, told HT there had been no pressure or suggestion from New Delhi to change the name.

Alice Prochaska, principal of the college, said, "We have committed to use our 'best endeavours' to set up an 'inspirational research facility', i.e an Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development, in a building on our site, and we are using our best endeavours to achieve the funding for a building that will indeed house the Indira Gandhi Centre."

"The prestigious building is a long-term plan and if we achieve it, will be larger than only the IG Centre but will include the IG Centre. The overall building could be named for the donor. While these plans are evolving, we are using the overarching name of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development for the current activity, which includes the Indira Gandhi Scholars and programme," she further added.

The brief states, "The Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development (IGCSD), established at the College with Government of India providing seed money of Rs 25 crore (GBP 3 million) - has begun work. The Centre is now called Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD). The Centre would be housed in a new building on Oxford University's Redcliff Observatory Quarter adjacent to Somerville College. The Centre would be fully established in time for the centenary celebrations of Smt Gandhi's birth on November 19, 1917," reported The Hindustan Times.

As per reports, Gandhi visited the college in 1971 to receive an honorary doctorate. In 2002, Congress president Sonia Gandhi presented a portrait of the former prime minister, which hangs alongside a painting of Margaret Thatcher, another alumnus of the college.

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