IB flags 9 private universities as anti-Modi

IB flags 9 private universities as anti-Modi

Institute of Eminence (IoE) tags to these universities have been kept on hold

Bengaluru-based Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and Azim Premji University are in the list.

The Centre has kept pending the grant of Institute of Eminence (IoE) tag to several top-ranking private higher education institutions after a reported Intelligence Bureau (IB) report said that those associated with these institutions have been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP.

The institutes include Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and Azim Premji University in Karnataka

“The IB sent its inputs in a note to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, headed by Prakash Javadekar, last month,” said a report published on The Print, a news portal, on Monday.

The HRD ministry, however, denied the report.

“There is no such IB report on these Institutions received by the Ministry. The matter will be examined by the UGC in it's meeting on Tuesday purely based on merits,” the ministry's higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam said posting a rebuttal to The Print story on the Twitter.

The news portal claimed to have published the story based on the documents “accessed” by it.

The private institutions, which were recommended for the IoE tag by an empowered committee in December last year, included the Ashoka University, Haryana; Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi; KREA University, Andhra Pradesh; Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Odisha; O P Jindal Global University, Haryana: and Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore.

About the IIHS, the IB note reportedly said that Cyrus Guzder, one of the founders, and chairman C B Bhave have been known to fund The Wire.

It also said that Guzder was among the petitioners who moved the Supreme Court seeking direction that the disputed site of the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir in Ayodhya be reserved for non-religious public use.

The note also referred to an article by Guzder on the Gujarat riots titled ‘Is secularism good for business?’ where he “likened the attacks on Muslim homes to a ‘genocide’”.

The IB note reportedly described the vice-chancellor of Ashoka University, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, as an unrelenting critic of the government. It said that the university’s chairman, the board of trustees, and founder Ashish Dhawan, “also fund anti-government propaganda sites like the Wire.in.”

When contacted, Ashoka University's communication cell director Anjoo Mohun refused to comment on the report.

“We have no response to give. No comments,” she said.

About the KREA university, the IB note reportedly said that its broad, which is yet to begin operations, includes former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who has been “critical of the government.”

“The document also notes that one of the members of the university’s governing council, Anu Aga, had once said in a speech that Modi did little to stop the rioters in Gujarat,” The Print's report said.

About Azim Premji University, the IB note said that Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives Limited, tech giant Wipro’s philanthropic arm, has been funding The Wire through a public charitable trust.

The note also mentioned that the university, in a study, had highlighted the growing fund crunch in the MGNREGA scheme for rural employment.

“At the Wipro Earthian awards 2016, Premji said: Smart city projects today is more talk than action. It has got a lot of traction from the Prime Minister, but its implementation has been very shallow’,” the IB note added.

As for the OP Jindal Global University, the IB said in its report that Naveen Jindal, the founding chancellor, has “often been in negative news.”

It also said that in the 2013 coal mine allocation scam, the CBI filed a case against Jindal and former coal minister Dasari Narayan Rao for reportedly wrongly allotting mining rights.

When contacted, the university officials declined to comment.