Chandigarh, June 8 (IANS) It may not have much to do with pure academics or research but a chair instituted in the memory of Ranbir Singh, the father of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is getting generous allocations from the state government.
For the powers that be in the state, making allocations to the chair, instituted in the Maharishi Dayanand University (MDU) in Rohtak, the home town of the chief minister, is nothing extraordinary. What is amusing though for the people, especially academicians on the MDU campus, is that while lakhs of rupees have been sanctioned for the Ranbir Singh chair, at least seven other chairs are getting small or no amounts.
The Ranbir Singh chair has been allocated nearly Rs.1 crore in the past four years. Of this, Rs.30 lakh has been allocated recently.
Ranbir Singh, a former minister in undivided Punjab, freedom fighter and member of the Constituent Assembly, died February 2009 at the age of 94. Hooda has been chief minister of Haryana since March 2005.
"The Ranbir Singh chair is being managed by a person who is over 75-years-old. The other chairs in MDU, which have been instituted in the names of much more well-known personalities, are almost defunct," a senior faculty member said.
MDU has seven other chairs, instituted in the names of eminent personalities like the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru; chairman of the constitution drafting committee B.R. Ambedkar; social reformer Maharishi Dayanand; Sant Kabir; Maharishi Balmiki and Sir Chhotu Ram.
"No substantial work is being done on any of these chairs. They have been given to faculty members as an additional charge. Two of them don't even have a head," another faculty member pointed out.
The Sir Chhotu Ram chair was allocated Rs.15.79 lakh in the 2012-13 budget but only Rs.2.85 lakh was finally released. For the Jawaharlal Nehru chair, Rs.11.93 lakh was allocated but only Rs.24,000 was released. For the Ambedkar chair, the figures are Rs.12.28 lakh/Rs.34,000.
Sections of the MDU faculty are questioning the logic of doing research only on Ranbir Singh.
MDU also has a Chaudhary Ranbir Singh Institute of Social and Economic Change.
Rohtak town has a fair share of streets, parks and other things named after Ranbir Singh. All of this started happening during Hooda's regime.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)