RTI on JNU Vivekanand statue draws a blank

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

NEW DELHI: The Jawa­har­lal Nehru Uni­ver­sity (JNU), which has been in­sist­ing on at­tribut­ing the source of money for a Swami Vivekanand statue on its cam­pus to an un­known bene­fac­tor, has cho­sen to be vague again on the question of its fund­ing. In its re­ply to a RTI query posted by the JNU Stu­dents' Union on Jan­uary 2, the uni­ver­sity deemed it suf­fi­cient to say that "no JNU funds are be­ing used" for the statue's con­struc­tion. The stu­dents' union had sought the de­tails of the amount al­lo­cated for the con­struc­tion of the statue and the source of that money in two sep­a­rate RTIs. To its sec­ond RTI, it re­ceived a sim­i­lar re­ply from the engi­neer­ing depart­ment on Jan­uary 23, which said that the mat­ter did not per­tain to it. Tak­ing ex­cep­tion to the opac­ity, the union ac­cused the au­thor­i­ties of wast­ing the money meant for aca­demic pur­poses on the statue.

"It is iron­i­cal as any con­struc­tion in JNU that takes place is done by the engi­neer­ing depart­ment. This con­struc­tion has been on for over two months, and yet nei­ther the Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment nor JNU's other de­part­ments have any answer to the RTIs.

"(It) shows their cul­pa­bil­ity in il­le­gal­ity, both in the con­struc­tion as well as in the chan­nelling of money meant for aca­demic pur­poses to other things," the union said.

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