Save SAU dream from its head: Faculty member writes to PM
An eminent faculty member of South Asian University has written a strong letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accusing the president of the varsity of lacking "academic imagination to take the university forward".
Threatening to resign, Prof Partha Sen — until recently the Dean of the Faculty of Development Economics at SAU and former director, Delhi School of Economics — has flagged off several issues, including that varsity president Prof G K Chadha who is the former vice-chancellor of JNU had packed the university with a "JNU coterie". This, he claims, is forcing a particular ideology even on foreign students. New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University is believed to be a Left citadel.
Envisaged as a SAARC centre of excellence, SAU is a dream project of the PM. Sen confirmed that he had written to the PM "in the interests" of SAU. He has written an even more explosive letter to the SAU Executive Committee and Governing Body, which has also been forwarded to the PM.
Denying the allegations as baseless, Chadha told The Indian Express: "Right from the beginning, Prof Sen has been fighting with everyone, using unparliamentary language with colleagues and refusing to cooperate. We had to even take up this issue with our Executive Committee and I personally intervened to get him a reprieve of six months... as he is a good academic. Prof Sen has written to all EC members as well with allegations that are not backed with any evidence."
Claiming that it was an internal matter, Chadha said they were dealing with it.
Urging the PM to "act and save this dream from the clutches of this coterie" and to "rein in" Chadha, Sen says that while SAU faculty is "paid four or five times Indian salaries", the treatment of SAU students is a "real shame". SAU professors draw US $30,000-45,000 per annum and an associate professor around US $20,000-35,000 annually. Not just the vice-president and registrar but even the clerical staff is from JNU, Sen says.
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