Current fellows of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library have come to the support of the institution and its management, which were recently criticised by a special audit report and a group of well-known intellectuals.
In a release, the group of 17 fellows slammed the audit's statement that no fellowships were awarded for research work in the three years from 2006 to 2009. They say the auditors “should have known that the selection of fellowships had been done in May 2005 and that most fellows joined at various points in the year 2005-06 and that they joined, according to the then prevailing provisions of NMML for a period of three years (which was extendable by two years). The process of fresh award of fellowships could not have started before 2008-09 – before that, no fellowships were available to be filled.” In fact, all the current fellows were selected in December 2008 and joined subsequently, according to the release.
The audit had said that research publications and library development had been ignored at the institution. The audit had also pointed to a number of financial irregularities. In their statement, the fellows rejected the audit's contention that NMML was not fulfilling its basic research objectives, pointing out that they have been active participants in a variety of academic programmes.
In their statement, the fellows criticised the group of intellectuals, whom they claimed were running a “public smear campaign against the institution which they claim to be interested in saving.”
The NMML fellows who issued the release are K.L. Tuteja, Ritu Bhagat, Shri Krishan, Madan Gopal Singh, David Devadas, Alok Sarin, Dipankar Gupta, Rohit Wanchoo, Prabhat Shukla, V. Krishna Ananth, Bhupender Yadav, Ira Bhaskar, Chayanika Uniyal, Alok Bajpai, Mahuya Bandopadhyay, Madhuri Sharma and Meena Gopal.