‘Annual townhall, email-based feedback’: Ashoka University reaffirms freedom of expression in letter to students


The Board of Trustees’ of Ashoka University Tuesday wrote to its students, saying that their issues on the safety of free speech and the necessity to be heard by varied decision-making our bodies have been taken notice of.

“The Founders are grateful to the students for today’s interaction, and would like to reiterate that they are committed to strengthening student trust which is central to the university,” an announcement launched by the Board of Trustees mentioned.

The ‘student government’ at Ashoka University had known as for a two-day boycott of courses beginning Monday, to protest the resignation of their academics, Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian. In an announcement, the elected scholar physique had mentioned that the 2 professors’ controversial exit had eroded their belief in the college administration to defend students from “external pressures”.

The board mentioned that based mostly on dialogue with the varsity’s scholar physique, the founders will probably be taking immediate motion “to make certain structural changes that incorporate your voice”.

Apart from reaffirming their dedication to the varsity’s coverage for the freedom of expression, the board additionally introduced measures together with a gathering between the scholar physique and the governing physique twice a yr.

The board additionally introduced an annual city corridor with the founders “where the students can interact with them freely”. They additionally mentioned an email-based suggestions course of for students will probably be set for speaking their strategies and issues.

“Our aim is that through this and already existing processes we will be able to ensure that Ashoka lives up to its vision of being a space for free enquiry, free expression, intellectual honesty, respect for the dignity of all human beings and openness to constructive change. All this cannot, of course, be achieved overnight. Ashoka will always be a work in progress,” the assertion signed by Ashish Dhawan, Pramath Raj Sinha, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Vineet Gupta on behalf of the Board of Trustees mentioned.

“We seek to work together with students, staff and faculty to make Ashoka not only one of the world’s best universities but also an institution that makes a difference to the world,” it added.

The University made headlines lately following the resignation of its school members – Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Arvind Subramanian.

Putting on document his motive for leaving Ashoka University, Mehta had mentioned in his resignation letter that the founders made it “abundantly clear” his affiliation with the establishment was a “political liability”. Calling the exit “ominously disturbing”, for tutorial freedom, Subramanian had despatched in his resignation too.

The developments had led to scholar protests on campus; the school issuing an announcement calling for Mehta’s return; and over 150 academicians from worldwide universities, together with Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge, providing assist to Mehta.


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