New Delhi: Days after the resignation of Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian, senior faculty members at Ashoka University, the management admitted to lapses that led to the current situation.
The University’s Chancellor and Board of Trustees Chairman expressed regret over the departure of Mehta and Subramanian.
“Ashoka University’s commitment to core values and our founders and trustees’ role are being questioned in the wake of the recent resignation of Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta,” Rudrangshu Mukherjee, the Chancellor of Ashoka University, was quoted as saying by IANS.
“We all regret what has happened, but I am sure we will recover and move forward from the situation we find ourselves in,” said Mukherjee.
“Pratap is a close personal friend and someone whom I immensely respect. I was involved in bringing him to Ashoka, and he succeeded me as the Vice-Chancellor. He has made invaluable contributions to building Ashoka into the institution it is today,” he said.
Mukherjee further said that the founders of the varsity have never interfered with academic freedom and that faculty members have been left free to construct their own courses.
The University’s Board of Trustees Chairman Ashish Dhawan also admitted that the departure of the two Professors Mehta and Subramanian was a “tremendous loss”.
“As an institution, we are committed to freedom in every aspect. Even as we evolve, this commitment will never fade,” Dhawan said in a letter to students and alumni.
In the letter, he said, “I have known Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta closely for over a decade. I worked intensely with our faculty and then as Vice Chancellor to bring him to Ashoka. For me, Pratap is not just rightfully India’s foremost public intellectual but also a friend from whom I have learned a lot.”
“I deeply regret any lapses that led to this situation. This was not something we had anticipated or planned,” he wrote.
Mehta and noted economist Arvind Subramanian, two vocal critics of the Narendra Modi government, recently resigned from the university.