NEW DELHI: Sunaina Singh, the choice of the BJP’s ideological fountainhead Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) and Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad-based EFL University, has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University after a long drawn process.
After a gap of several months, the University finally has both Chancellor and Vice Chancellor; and both have a close relation with RSS. As first reported by The New Indian Express, Sunaina Singh’s name was selected by the visitor of the University President Pranab Mukherjee from three names forwarded by the Chancellor of the University after approval of the Governing Board.
Singh’s name was cleared on Tuesday and it reached the University in Rajgir on Wednesday. The University has received a total of 160 applications for the position and six people were called for interviews and three names were then sent to the Visitor. Singh’s name was on top.
It is interesting as Singh has already been accused by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for misuse of funds. The CAG has found that Singh while living in the well-furnished house allotted to her as VC of English and Foreign Languages University has been availing House Rent Allowance as well in contravention to the University rules.
During her tenure at the EFL University, Singh has also saw a spate of student protests and has often been accused of being anti-Dalit. In April 2016, she was called at the National Commission for Scheduled Castes for expelling a Dalit scholar Koonal Duggal from a function organised to mark 125th anniversary of BR Ambedkar.
The University has been without Chancellor and Vice Chancellor after George Yeo resigned citing India’s “domestic politics” as after the Government that constituted a new Governing Board without consulting him. Before Yeo, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen – the founding Chancellor of the varsity - had quit the University in 2015 citing political intereference as the reason.
Earlier on January 27th Vijay Bhetkar, former IIT Delhi board chairman and head of RSS’ science body Vijnan Bharti, was appointed Chancellor of the University. The Government had also constituted a new governing board constituting Professor Arvind Sharma from McGill University of Canada; Indian Council for Cultural Relations President professor Lokesh Chandra and Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Arvind Panagariya.