PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has written to Union minister Sushma Swaraj, expressing disappointment at the resignation of Nalanda University Chancellor George Yeo over the Centre's "intervention in the functioning of the institution" and urging the NDA government not to "tamper with the essence behind the idea of Nalanda".
In his strong-worded two-page letter to Swaraj, he said the Chancellor alleged that "he was not taken into confidence on the decision to dissolve the previous governing board or constitute a new one".
"Yoe has reportedly resigned from his post citing central government's interventions as affecting the autonomy of the institution. He has emphasised that he was not taken into confidence on the decision to dissolve the previous governing board or constitute a new one," Kumar said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media last night.
He went on to say that "the fact that an important decision was taken without consulting the Chancellor of the university is disturbing and raises questions about the autonomous nature of the university".
Kumar, the prime mover behind the idea of reviving ancient glory of Nalanda University and conceptualising establishment of Nalanda International University, also questioned the constitution of new governing body by the Centre "when no amendment in the Nalanda University Act, 2010 has taken place".
The amendment in the Central Act was proposed after it came to light that there were flaws in provisions related to the formulation of the governing body, he said.
"All the stakeholders are worried about the direction in which this University is headed.
"Under the circumstances, it is requested that the Central government should not tamper with the essence behind the 'idea of Nalanda'. Its importance that dignity should be kept in perspective while furthering the activities of the University," he said.
The university will flourish only if the academic autonomy and continuity is allowed and maintained, Kumar said, adding his government will continue to support the varsity.
The Union government had justified the constitution of the governing board of Nalanda University by replacing a mentor group comprising Amartya Sen and others, saying the changes in its management were carried out to bring legality to the set-up and also end the ad hoc arrangement.