The Chancellor of Nalanda University, George Yeo resigned on Friday over the changes in University’s autonomy. He said that earlier he was assured regarding the autonomy of the university.
Yeo said that he was “repeatedly assured that the University would have autonomy. This appears not to be the case now”. Amid the same, Yeo gave his resignation on the day of the Foundation Day of the University.
George Yeo, in a statement, informed that some decisions like the dismissal of Governing body and creating a new one surprised him and several members of the existing governing body too. He narrated that he was not informed and involved regarding the same.
Earlier on 23rd November, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen put an end to his connection with Nalanda University. He served for nine years, as a Chancellor and then as a member of governing board. He resigned as the Chancellor in February 2015, criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP government.
However, after the resignation, Sen continued as the member of the board. Earlier in 2007, Manmohan Singh government, to restore Nalanda University, created Nalanda Mentors Groups and Sen was a part of the same.
Yeo said, “When I was appointed Chancellor in July 2015, I was told that a new Governing Board would be formed under an amended Act, core aspects of which the Ministry of External Affairs sought my views on. The amended Act would have removed a major flaw in the current Act which in essence offers Governing Board seats to East Asian Summit countries making the highest financial contributions in the last three years. This provision, which was never recommended by the Nalanda Mentor Group, would not have been a good way to constitute the Governing Board and was the reason the Government of India requested the Nalanda Mentor Group to continue functioning as the Governing Board for a number of years until the Act could be amended.”
He further told that the reason for taking the decision was not clear to him.
The change in leadership of the University, he said, was “sudden” and “harmful” to the developmental process of the University. “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 added.
Though Yeo expressed his feelings towards his association with the University. He said that “it had been an honour and privilege for him to be associated with the revival of Nalanda over the last decade.”