JNU lecture upheaval, Speaker changed by School of Social Science

The Centre for Economic Study and Planning (CESP) in JNU organises the Krishna Bhardwaj Memorial Lecture every year to commemorate the contributions of Krishna Bhardwaj, an eminent scholar and founder of the centre. She is known and revered for her contributions to the advancement of economic development theory and the revival of ideas of classical economics. The CESP has come in a conflict with the School of Social Sciences because of its move to announce the lecture “without the involvement of sanction of the CESP”

Image: Indian Express
CESP has been organising the lecture since last 25 years. In an email communication dated March 5, the CESP informed that this year too, the Centre had decided after discussions to invite the eminent social scientist Professor Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a former member of the JNU faculty and President of the Centre of Policy Research, and current Vice-Chancellor of Ashoka University to deliver the 26th Krishna Bhardwaj Memorial lecture. However, the CESP faculty alleged that the current Dean of the School of Social Sciences chose to bypass the decision of the Centre and invited a different speaker, without any communication of the reason behind it and far from any sort of discussion.
The CESP faculty has decided in its meeting dated March 5, 2018 to go ahead with its planned activity and organise the 26th KB Memorial lecture towards the last week of March by inviting the chosen speaker Pratap Bhanu Mehta. They also called for well wishers of CESP to join the lecture.
Additionally, it appears that Sudha Bhardwaj, the rights activist from Chhattisgarh and Chhattisgarh High Court advocate, declined an invitation to the lecture. She said in an email dated March 3, “It has come to my notice that, departing from the process of organisation of all previous memorial lectures, this lecture has been organised bypassing the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning. Prof Krishna Bharadwaj was not only an eminent scholar but also a thorough democrat. It is unlikely that she could have approved of an administrative decision that was carried out without consultation with the institution that she spent decades of her life nurturing, namely the CESP”

She also expressed that even during the emergency, the centre stood out for its bold stands in favour of its autonomy and the welfare of its faculty and students and hence she regrets that she can not be part of the lecture in such situations.



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