Former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian resigned from Ashoka University, days after noted columnist and political commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehta's exit. Subramanian said that Pratab Bhanu Mehta's exit two days ago shows that the university even "with its private status and backing by private capital" cannot provide any space for 'academic expression and freedom'.
Subramanian had joined the university as a professor in the department of economics in July 2020, reported The Wire.
Subramanian is also the founding director of the Ashoka Center for Economic Policy and was involved in research and analysis on Indian policy issues and global development.
His resignation will come into effect at the end of this academic year.
Mehta, a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government, stepped down from the post of the University's vice-chancellor two years ago in July 2019. Subramaniam's letter to the university's vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar hinted that his "resignation" was forced.
"I am acutely aware of the broader context in which Ashoka and its trustees have to operate, and have so far admired the University for having navigated it so well," Subramanian wrote in his resignation letter.
Subramanian wrote he was troubled by the fact that Mehta, a man of "integrity and eminence" and one who "embodied the vision underlying Ashoka", was forced to leave.
"That even Ashoka—with its private status and backing by private capital—can no longer provide a space for academic expression and freedom is ominously disturbing. Above all, the University's commitment to fight for and sustain the Ashoka vision is now open to question makes it difficult for me to continue being part of Ashoka," the letter read.
Mehta stepped down from the post of the University's vice-chancellor two years ago.