Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeIndiaEducationEconomist Arvind Subramanian quits Ashoka University 2 days after Pratap Bhanu Mehta...

Economist Arvind Subramanian quits Ashoka University 2 days after Pratap Bhanu Mehta exit

In his letter, Arvind Subramanian says Pratap Bhanu Mehta's resignation devastated him, and notes that Ashoka University can no longer provide space for academic expression & freedom.

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New Delhi: Noted economist Arvind Subramanian Thursday resigned from Ashoka University’s faculty, two days after political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta resigned as a professor.

In a letter written to Vice Chancellor Malabika Sarkar, a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint, the former chief economic advisor cited the circumstances involving Mehta’s exit as the reason for his resignation and the fact that “Ashoka can no longer provide a space for academic expression and freedom”.

Subramanian had joined the university in July last year as a professor of economics. He is also the founding director of Ashoka Center for Economic Policy.

In his letter sent to Sarkar, Subramanian said that the circumstances involving Prof. Mehta’s resignation “devastated” him.

“I am acutely aware of the broader context in which Ashoka and its trustees have to operate, and have so far admired the University for having navigated it so well. But that someone of such integrity and eminence, who embodied the vision underlying Ashoka, felt compelled to leave is troubling,” he wrote.

ThePrint reached Ashoka University for a comment, but didn’t receive a response till the time of publishing this report. A text message was also sent to Subramanian, seeking a comment on his resignation, but no response was received from him as well.

Noted scholar and political scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta had on Tuesday resigned from the university without specifying any reasons for his exit.


Also read: UGC denies ’eminence’ tag to Ashoka, KREA, Jadavpur and Azim Premji universities


Read the full text of Subramanian’s resignation letter here:

Dear Malabika,

As you know, I came to Ashoka University with the aim of teaching students, and building a centre for economic policy to build our national capacity for high-quality research, analysis and communication. With the University’s support, especially of key trustees, the Centre has been taking shape—with events, research projects, teams of talented researchers, and resources—beyond what I could have hoped for, especially considering the pandemic-induced constraints. The exciting sense was growing that some of our long-term goals would be achieved. And I was really enjoying getting to know and work with the brilliant students and colleagues of Ashoka.

However, the circumstances involving the “resignation” of Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who is not just a dear friend but a truly inspirational national figure, have devastated me. I am acutely aware of the broader context in which Ashoka and its trustees have to operate, and have so far admired the University for having navigated it so well.

But that someone of such integrity and eminence, who embodied the vision underlying Ashoka, felt compelled to leave is troubling. That even Ashoka—with its private status and backing by private capital—can no longer provide a space for academic expression and freedom is ominously disturbing. Above all, that the University’s commitment to fight for and sustain the Ashoka vision is now open to question makes it difficult for me to continue being part of Ashoka.

So it is with a sense of deep regret and profound sadness that I am writing to submit my resignation from the University which will take effect from the end of this academic year. I wish you and the University, and especially its gifted and motivated students–who are the heart of Ashoka–success in the future.


Also read: Ashoka University did what famed Delhi University could not – stand by its teachers


 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “by discriminating against Indian companies and exporters, (US initiatives) will exert natural pressure on India to open up” this is want this man said, a few years back… when he was working for a US gang, he should been denied entry into India, learn few such things from China.

  2. All academics will be shakha educated RSS appointees only, with the intellectual calibre of chai wallah and Smriti Irani.

  3. All said and done, delusion and illusion eventually causes downfall. The idea of patting yourself on your back is laughable and when Indians started naming institutions of eminence in India, it was a joke all over except in India. Events have started unfolding now.

    • Modi awarded a certificate of excellence to Reliance’s Jio University – before it started !

      Delusions come from inferiority complex and lack of competitive ability. They want to be someone they cannot be.

  4. Mr. Mehta is a known Left wing ideologue. His departure from Ashoka is a positive development and augurs well for the university.

    • Correct!! Leftists are clearly Chinese/Paki funded free loaders who need to be sent to their masters!!!!

  5. Okay, so who leaked this letter to The Print, thereby ensuring 15 minutes of publicity to both Shri Subramanian and the Ashoka University? Was it the former professor or the Vice Chancellor, who is being addressed by her first name and not the position that she holds?

  6. Well, these NRI/PIO Indians won’t be jobless. They always have one foot abroad in some foreign university, where they can resume their academic career. Ashoka University is taking over the leftism mantle from JNU.

    • Mr Gururaj: Well, it is not the careers of these eminent academics that you should be worrying about but the worsening image of India as a democracy. The dilution of of democratic freedoms that PM Modi has initiated ensures that its brightest and best will leave the country – to be replaced by RSS apparatchiks. But then I guess, that is wht your ilk wants…

Comments are closed.

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