It is sometimes said that since the government is paying for most of the expenses of Nalanda University, it should be free to take the major decisions about the running of the university. Shouldn’t it?
There is a distinction between being, firstly, an autonomous institution financed by the government and, secondly, an institution under governmental command. The universities in Europe, going back many hundreds of years, have become academically excellent through governmental respect for the autonomy of the universities. The British guard academic independence in their own country with great care, even though the British rulers of colonial India very often violated the autonomy of public academic institutions. We should avoid following the colonial model.
There has been speculation about the kind of remuneration you have received for Nalanda all these years. How much have you received?
I have received no salary or remuneration whatsoever from Nalanda University, and have always worked in an honorary capacity. It has indeed been an honour for me to work for the revival of Nalanda University as a labour of love.