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Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says Modi government playing substantive role in academic institutions


New Delhi, July 7: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Monday, July 6, claimed that the Modi government wants control of academic bodies.

According to reports, while further intensifying the tiff with the NDA government, Sen has gone public in saying that he was 'ousted' as the chancellor of Nalanda University. [Govt wants me to cease being Chancellor of Nalanda: Amartya Sen]

amartya sen

In a 4,000 words article that is set to be published in August in the New York review of books, Sen has written that his ouster from Nalanda University is just a part of wide attempts being made by the Modi-led NDA government to control the academic institutions. [Amartya Sen alleges Modi govt denied him second term at Nalanda University]

In an interview with the TOI, Sen said that he is extremely worried that budgets for health and education have been drastically slashed. [Read full text: Amartya Sen's letter to board members of Nalanda University]

Former foreign minister of Singapore, George Yeo, will take over as the new Chancellor of Nalanda University on Friday, July 17, while replacing Sen. [No attempt to curtail Amartya Sen's tenure, says Govt]

"The government may have held up finances or statues had I continued", Sen was quoted as saying.

As per Sen, the government is playing 'substantive' role where it is supposed to play only 'formal' role in the institutions. He said not only HRD ministry but the entire Modi government is interfering in the functioning of the varsities. [Amartya Sen and Nalanda University controversy: All you should know]

Sen also cited examples of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and National Book Trust (NBT), where Modi government replaced the then directors/heads and appointed new directors of its choice.

He also said that Delhi IIT Director, Raghunath Shevgaonkar also resigned on the same grounds and IIT Bombay Board chairman, Anil Kakodkar also expressed that 'he could not help the government in anything in the future.'

Sen also compared China's economy with that of India. He said that at the time when China spends 3 percent on public healthcare, Indian government has reduced it from 1.2 percent to 1 percent.

He also lashed out at the NDA's land acquisition bill, calling it as "comprehensively wrong".

Sen's upcoming book, 'The Country Of First Boys', narrates his experiences in Nalanda University.

OneIndia News

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