The appointment on January 27 of scientist Vijay Bhatkar, the architect of India’s first supercomputer, as chancellor of Nalanda University has given rise to serious doubts about the direction this institute will take. It should not come as a surprise that a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sympathiser or activist now heads the university, or that someone closer to the Right wing could become its vice-chancellor in the near future. After all, that is how political appointments have been made under all kinds of political regimes.
What is of concern is that such an appointment goes against the very idea of a university that calls itself international and aims, as it says on its website, “to be universalist in its outlook, open to currents of thought and practice from around the globe, and it has to respond to the needs of a world”.
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