Set to take charge as Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Vice-Chancellor (V-C) against a backdrop of violence and unrest on campus, Prof Girish Chandra Tripathi Tuesday said he has no “hesitation in accepting that he was an RSS man” but added that the university did not belong to “any party or any government”. “
In an interaction with The Indian Express at his residence here, he said his focus would be take the BHU to new heights by realising its innate potential and make it the “hub of India’s soft power”.
“BHU is a centre of faith and reverence. It reminds us how Mahamana (Madan Mohan Malviya) set it up with no help from the government. The BHU does not belong to any party or any government. It is place for the enrichment of youth through exchange of knowledge and ideas.
This has to be respected,” Tripathi said.
He said the university had immense inner strength. “It has more than 140 departments, four institutions, constituent colleges and several faculties. Also, several centres and scholars have done very good work in their areas. They will be identified and brought at the forefront to provide leadership in research,” Tripathi said.
He said he will endeavour to make the BHU attract best students and faculty from not only within the country but also from across the world.
He said he would try for collaborations with the best universities in the world, besides best scholars, to enrich the standard of research and quality of education.
On the issue of BHU catering largely to the students from the region, who were not able to get a place in more reputed universities in the country, Tripathi said: “That is one area we will have to look into. Our endeavour would be to provide an environment that attracts best talent.”
Asked about the violence and unrest on campus since last week, the newly-appointed V-C refused to comment, saying he was not yet aware of all the facts. He, however, added that it was always better to have an interactive administration.
Asked about his RSS background, Tripathi said he had no hesitation in accepting that he “was an RSS man”. “When I became the first person from outside Delhi to be elected as the president of the Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations in 2011, everybody wondered how an RSS man got elected. But the same people have chosen me twice. That’s all I have to say,” he said.
Tripathi, an economics professor who teaches at the Allahabad University (AU), besides leading the AU Teachers’ Association, said he had certain formalities to complete with his current varsity before taking up the charge at the BHU.
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