Nalanda University chancellor quits, cites attack on autonomy
As a mark of protest over the dissolving of the governing body to make way for a new one, the Chancellor of Nalanda University resigned from his post on Friday. George Yeo in his statement said that this move seemed to be an attack on the institution's autonomy.
In a statement that he released on Friday, Yeo said that he was assured of the University's autonomy but now things had changed. "When I was invited to take over the responsibility from Amartya Sen last year, I was repeatedly assured that the University would have autonomy. This appears not to be the case now. Accordingly, and with deep sadness, I have submitted my letter of resignation as Chancellor to the Visitor" he said.
In his statement Yeo also claimed that the order of the Visitor of the University dissolving the governing board and creating a new one came as a surprise to him and existing members of the body. He also claimed that he neither was consulted nor involved when the decision was taken. "For reasons not entirely clear to me, the Government of India has decided to form the new Governing Board with immediate effect before the Act is amended. This is of course entirely the prerogative of the Government of India,'' he added
Yeo ended his statement by calling in an honour and privilege for him to have been associated with revival of Nalanda and working with Amartya Sen and eventually being appointed as its second chancellor.
George Yeo was Singapore's former Foreign Minister. He took over from Nobel prize- winning economist Amartya Sen as Chancellor of the revived University in 2015. He had been a prime mover of the revival effort of the educational institute since it was established in 2010. In 2012, the Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India, for his role in public affairs.