Against the backdrop of Amartya Sen not finding a place in the Nalanda University Governing Board, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar today said one has to be “accountable” irrespective of having credentials as a scholar. Appearing to suggest that the Centre’s decision regarding Sen was not politically motivated, Javadekar cited the recent reappointment of senior Congress leader Karan Singh as Chairman of Auroville Foundation, an autonomous body under HRD Ministry.
“We reappointed Karan Singh to Auroville Foundation going by his credentials as a scholar. I want to make it clear that there has to be accountability no matter how big a scholar one is,” he said, adding, “One cannot say that I will do whatever I want, I have to be given the money I need but I will not give you the expenditure details.”
The HRD minister’s comments came in response to a question about Sen not being reappointed to Nalanda Board at a event organised by a media house. When asked whether his comments were directed at Sen, he said, “I did not take any name.”
Controversy hit Nalanda recently when Sen’s association with the institute came to an end after the government reconstituted its governing body.
Soon after, George Yeo, the second Chancellor of the University, quit saying its autonomy was being affected as he was “not even given notice” of the leadership change in the institution. However, Javadekar also underlined that the decision does not involve his Ministry.
President Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as the Visitor of the University, approved the reconstitution of the Governing Board in accordance with provision of the Nalanda University Act, 2010.
The Ministry of External Affairs coordinates the functioning of the university.