Education & Literature

    Ashoka Univ co-founder cites use of drugs by students on campus

    The Hawk
    September9/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Sonepat: In a rare instance, Ashoka University co-founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani has created a flutter on social media after he cited the use of drugs by students at the campus premises.

    In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Bikhchandani said: “The problem of title inflation The corporate sector, a few decades back, pioneered the concept of title inflation. Don’t increase salaries, don’t enlarge the role or the responsibilities, just change the title so as to make the person feel more important than he or she actually is.”

    He said that so General Managers were out and Vice Presidents were in, account directors superseded account supervisors.

    “That way you made people feel good, happy and motivated. And there was apparent career progression and professional growth. In education institutions such as the IITs and the IIMs there isn’t any title inflation because being reasonably ossified government type bureaucracies they are stuck with the titles of the 1960s. Therefore the Student Society is called the SAC – the Students Activities Centre.”

    He further said that the elections were held to the SAC.

    “No confusion here – the General Secretary SAC and his or her team run student activities. At St. Stephens College, where I studied, there has been title inflation from the beginning – there was a President and a Chancellor of the Exchequer and if I remember correctly there was a cabinet and various ministers etc. etc. Some delusions of grandeur here. However there was still no confusion on the role – it was to run student activities and student life.

    “So there was a Minister of the Interior (if my memory serves me right) part of whose job was to ensure the hot water boilers were working well in the student residences. And an External Affairs Minister whose job was to interface with other colleges regarding college festivals etc. We were pompous and possessed of self importance and quite happy to be so. We were gods of small things,” he said.

    He further said that “at Ashoka with the Founders being from the Corporate Sector I am afraid there has been title inflation”.

    “There is a Student Government not an SAC. The problem with title inflation is that sometimes people who get elected to these positions actually believe that that is their role unless they are disabused of the notion. The Student Government at Ashoka seems to be labouring under the impression that their mandate is to govern the University. It isn’t. Their mandate is to work on student activities and student life.”

    Bikhchandani said that he was disappointed for instance that the Student Government has had little to say or do about the problem of substance abuse by students at Ashoka.

    “I think it would add a lot of value to Ashoka if the Student Government were to focus on this and assist the University administration in its ongoing efforts to tackle this issue. From what I have heard this is a growing problem at Ashoka. I have heard stories of deliveries of drugs by drones and room delivery in the hostels. I hope these stories are apocryphal,” he said on the use of narcotics.

    He also said that likewise there are several other areas that the Student Government needs to focus on that will improve student life at Ashoka.

    “Just some loud thinking,” he added.

    Ashoka University recently came in news after Professor Sabyasachi Das resigned from the university after his Professor Pulapre Balakrishnan, who had also resigned, said that there was a grave error of judgement in response to the attention received by Das’ after his paper suggesting voter manipulation in 2019 elections sparked a controversy.

    Later, Professor Pulapre Balakrishnan resigned in protest over acceptance of resignation of Das.