Government intervention sought in ‘framing proper guidelines to set up the project'

There appears to be no end in sight to the drama over the Bangalore University's School of Economics, with different sections of the varsity speaking in two voices about the fate of the project. On the one hand, members of the Syndicate and Academic Council held a press conference to announce their plan to meet Sitaram Jindal, the chief patron of the Sitaram Jindal Foundation, to reconsider his decision to withdraw the Rs. 100-crore grant; on the other, Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhu Dev has skewered speculations about his planning to revive the project.

‘Frame guidelines'

On Friday, members of the team that wants to meet Mr. Jindal explained their stance about the project, stating that a School of Economics would benefit the university. However, they demanded government intervention in the matter by “framing proper guidelines to set up the project”.

Hours after this press conference, Dr. Prabhu Dev shot off a press statement, taking a dig at the members by calling it a case of “cat eating a rat and then going on a pilgrimage”.

“It is amusing that a section of the Syndicate kills the project by planting a story of a real estate deal and another of the same group goes to Dr. Sitaram Jindal to revive the project of School of Economics,” he said.

‘To sabotage'

Commenting on the accusation that he had kept the Syndicate and Academic Council in the dark about the proposed school, Dr. Prabhu Dev said: “The Academic Council and Syndicate have been kept informed without any lapse. The whole exercise seems to be to sabotage the establishment of School of Economics under Bangalore University.”

‘Not in two minds'

Reacting to media reports that he was in two minds about reviving the project, he reiterated: “I have been insulted and humiliated and I am hurt. I have read the reports that I am in two minds about revival of the project. As far as I am concerned, the chapter of School of Economics under Bangalore University is closed.”

“I also request Dr. Jindal to identify an able, intelligent person with passion amongst this group, which includes the new Registrar, to facilitate smooth revival of the project. It appears that this group wants a glorified Department of Economics rather than a School of Economics which is an autonomous institute of excellence. It is for Dr. Jindal to decide,” he added.