BANGALORE: The School of Economics, Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor Dr N Prabhu Dev’s dream project, is now history. The Sitaram Jindal Foundation, which had planned to invest a whopping Rs 100 crore on this project, has backed out, unable to sustain the accusations allegedly carried out by a section of academic council members.
The Foundation in a press statement, said, “Now that our company’s name has been rudely sullied, we are no longer interested to be subjected to such low politics, and buy controversy at a cost of Rs 100 crore any further. With deep anguish and hurt, we hereby withdraw our offer of the said donation of Rs 100 crore for a project which was conceived and cherished by a few wellmeaning people.” The statement reads, “We are shocked and hurt by the accusations made by a few members against our company for the donation of Rs 100 crore which we agreed in good faith to establish a Bangalore School of Economics,” referring to the remarks made at the academic council meeting on January 13.
Lamenting on the lost opportunity, the Foundation put the ball back into the courts of the council members.
“But no doubt, it will remain on record as a classic case of stifling a good cause by unfounded suspicion of a few. Let all those wise men in the council answer the posterity for their act of killing a project which would have been otherwise unique and wonderful,” it said.
Registrar Prof B C Mylarappa, who was once accused by the Foundation for ‘selfish motives’ called it a ‘disappointment’.
“The University would have got a good name with this project. It only makes me think where we went wrong,” he said.
He added that there was no opposition to the project whatsoever. Vice-Chancellor Prabhu Dev was unavailable for reactions. However, a senior official said it was not the end.
“This is a shocking news, but we have not accepted the defeat. Jindal is only planning to withdraw, and we will try to convince them to reconsider. This is a result of wrong propaganda,” the official said.
ROAD TO PERDITION
■ April 2011 - Mohandas Pai agrees to co-chair the committee set up to form School of Economics.
■ May 3, 2011 - Academic Council accepts proposal for School of Economics.
■ October 30, 2011 - Jindal announces its decision to invest Rs 100 crore for School of Economics
■ November 2011 - Study group co-chaired by Mohandas Pai submits its report on the establishment of Bangalore School of Economics.
■ December 2011 - Reports of land scam arise. Several university officials and Syndicate members cry foul.
■ December 31, 2011 - VC Prabhu Dev seeks public opinion on whether the School should be established or not.
■ January 2, 2012 - Sitaram Jindal Foundation accuses Registrar of ‘malicious campaign’.
■ January 3, 2012 - Registrar in a letter denies role in controversy.
■ January 13, 2012 - Academic Council postpones voting on School. Seeks more clarification. A new committee is resolved to be set up.
■ January 16, 2012 - Sitaram Jindal Foundation decides to pull out of the project.