Pratap Bhanu Mehta has quit as vice-chancellor of Sonepat-based Ashoka University, one of India’s most prestigious private universities.
Chancellor Rudrangshu Mukherjee has accepted his resignation with effect from August 1. Professor Malabika Sarkar will succeed Mehta. He, however, will continue to teach at the university.
In a letter to rest of the faculty, Mehta said the “timing” of his stepping down as VC “may occasion speculation”, but described it as a personal decision. He said his “decision to step down was not an easy one”. Mehta said he “had increasingly begun to feel the tension” between his vocation as an academic and obligations as an administrator.
“The contemporary world has unsettled so many of our political and philosophical assumptions, and I increasingly felt the need to reorient myself academically. Hence, the decision to step down,” he said.
In his letter, Mukherjee said the members of the governing body and university founders were “most surprised by this development”, held extensive discussions with Pratap and finally, in deference to his wishes, reluctantly agreed to his request to step down as VC.