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Ashoka University’s statement refuting factually inaccurate reports in media

Ashoka University strongly refutes the speculative and factually inaccurate media reports about a link between the resignations of two of its senior faculty members and the following events:

1. Government pressure

There was no pressure from the government or any official sources. This is pure speculation.

2. Land acquisition for Ashoka’s new campus

The institutional plot of land for Ashoka’s new campus was acquired through an open auction in 2018. Subsequently, there were a few issues related to alignment of the plot (caused by a national highway being planned in its vicinity). These alignment issues were resolved in 2020.

3. Approval of Ashoka University’s 4-year Undergraduate programme

There is no question of approval for the 4-year UG programme being a factor, because that is governed by a National Law and is not specific to any university. Also, the new National Education Policy approved by the Government in 2020 has proposed 4-year Undergraduate programmes for all universities.

4. FCRA clearance to Reimagining Higher Education Foundation (RHEF), the sponsoring body for the proposed Plaksha University

Ashoka and Plaksha are two separate and distinct collective philanthropic efforts. Ashoka is sponsored by IFRE (International Foundation for Education and Research) and has 154 founders, while Plaksha is sponsored by RHEF and has over 60 founders. There is no relationship between the two universities except for a few common founders.

5. Ashoka University’s founders having a commercial interest in the university

Ashoka University is a true non-profit University based on collective philanthropy. None of the founders have any commercial interest in the University. The 154-strong founder body has devoted itself to the building of Ashoka by contributing financial and non-financial resources for research centres and infrastructure development. Many founders also endow the generous need-based scholarship programme that enables an extremely diverse set of students to pursue their dreams of a world-class higher education (50% of the Ashoka student body is on some form of financial aid).

Ashoka University remains strongly committed to building a world-class multi-disciplinary university in India with a focus on excellence in teaching and research. The university will continue to uphold and champion its core values of academic freedom, intellectual independence and the creation of new knowledge.

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