Four new trustees were appointed Monday, more than two and a half months after eight of the 24 trustees of Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad resigned in protest of Governor Acharya Devvrat’s appointment as the university’s Chancellor.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Vidyapith’s board of trustees on Monday, which was presided over by Chancellor Acharya Devvrat, following a ceremony in which educationist and writer Mansukh Salla was awarded the Mahadev Desai Samaj Sewa Award 2022.
Industrialist Gafurbhai Bilakhia, philanthropist Rajshree Birla, former state information commissioner Dilip Thaker, and Vice-Chancellor of Indian Institute of Teachers Education (IITE) Gandhinagar Harshad Patel are the four new trustees.
“The decision was taken in a meeting today,” Gujarat Vidyapith Vice Chancellor Dr Rajendra Khimani confirmed to The Indian Express. On the appointment of the remaining four trustees, he stated, “No decision has been made as of now.”
Among the new trustees, Gafur Bilakhia, a Gandhian settled in Vapi, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2020 for his work in trade and industry, while Rajashree Birla was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011 for her work in social work. He served three years on the Gujarat Khadi Board and the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Rajghat, New Delhi.
Rajashree Birla leads the Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, the Group’s apex body for development projects, and has spent decades working in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) sector.
The appointment of new trustees takes into account the Gujarat Vidyapith authorities’ repeated claims of a fund crunch, citing non-release of funds by the Centre.