Updated: March 18, 2021 1:49:08 am
Day after students at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) protested outside the residence of Vice-Chancellor Rakesh Bhatnagar against the proposal to appoint Nita Ambani, the wife of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, as a visiting professor, the university on Wednesday said that neither an official administrative decision has been taken in this regard, nor the varsity academic council has given any such approval.
However, a group of students claimed to have submitted another letter to the V-C office on Wednesday, stating that they have a copy of the proposal sent to Nita Ambani by the university’s Women Student Centre, and the same was also marked to the Vice-Chancellor.
BHU research scholar Shubham Tiwari, who was among the students who protested on Tuesday, said they would hold a press conference on the matter on Thursday afternoon.
“It is to be mentioned that a day before your public relation office clarified that you have no information about the matter. But we are submitting a copy of the proposal sent to Nita Ambani by the women study centre, and it mentions that a copy of the same has been forwarded to the Vice-Chancellor. This means that you received the copy, and your PRO gave the wrong information… Taking cognizance of the matter please issue a clarification and take necessary action,” read the letter sent to the V-C, which is also marked to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Education Minister and others.
Earlier in the day, BHU issued a statement on its official Twitter handle, stating that several news reports have been published regarding Nita Ambani being a visiting professor at the women study centre, but the “university administration has not taken any official decision regarding appointment of Nita Ambani in any faculty, department or centre”.
It is to be mentioned that appoint as a visiting professor at the university needs an approval from the academic council, and neither any approval has given by the council nor has any such matter been brought to its attention, it added.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Tuesday, BHU Social Sciences Faculty Dean Kaushal Kishore Mishra, who has sent the proposal to Reliance Foundation, had said that if the proposal is accepted by Nita Ambani, the same will go to the academic council for final approval. Mishra had also confirmed that there are two more posts for visiting professor in the women study centre and the other two names they were considering were of Priti Adani, wife of billionaire industrialist Priti Adani, and Usha Mittal, wife of UK based steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. However, given the controversy surrounding Nita Ambani, the rest of the proposals haven’t been sent yet.
Meanwhile, BHU students released the purported letter sent to Nita Ambani. It read: “You are such an inspiring and motivating icon for the whole womenfolk that the Benaras Hindu University would feel privileged by honouring you as Visiting Professor at Centre For Women’s Studies and Development. Your entrepreneurship experience, concern for social issues, sympathy for girls and women would definitely and highly motivate the girl students in the region of Purvanchal of Uttar Pradesh… I request you to accept our humble offer of visiting professor…”
The letter dated March 12 is signed by Nidhi Sharma, coordinator for the Women Studies Centre and Kaushal Kishore Mishra.
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