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Amartya Sen accuses Modi government of taking over academic institutions

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has accused the Modi government of trying to seize direct control over academic institutions.

Following an earlier accusation, in which Sen blamed the present government for his “ouster” from the chancellorship of the Nalanda University, the world-renowned economist has now said his exit from Nalanda University was part of the Narendra Modi-led government’s wider project of controlling educational institutions in the country. The accusation is part of a 4,000-word essay about to be published in the August issue of the New York Review of Books.

Sen is set to end his tenure as chancellor on July 17, and will be succeeded by George Yeo, former foreign minister of Singapore.

Sen’s chancellorship at the Nalanda University has been clouded by controversies. In February, Sen had denied rumours of government expenses, to the tune of Rs. 2,700 crore, dedicated to the university. Sen defined his tenure at the university as a “labour of love’ and said he had not drawn any salary or remuneration during this time. He further stated that, “the total expenses of Nalanda University over four years, from its founding in 2010 to the end of the last financial year (2013-14), came to under Rs. 25 crore”. The total, he said would probably close in on Rs. 40 crore by the end of the next financial year (2014-15).

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