Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ram Naik on Saturday said that the proposed establishment of India's first womens' varsity in Raebareli to be named after Indira Gandhi, was an objectionable "memory lapse" by the Central Cabinet of the nation's maiden SNDT Women University in Maharashtra. He dubbed the move as "election-oriented".
In a statement, Naik said, "Does the Central Cabinet wish the country to forget the glorious educational history of the century - old country's first Women's University established by Maharshi Keshav Karve."
"The announcement by the Central Cabinet made on July 11 about the proposed establishment of the country's 'first' women university in Raebareli to be named after Indira Gandhi is not only opportunistic and 2014 election-oriented but also obsequious and smacks of utter ignorance of country's educational history," Naik said.
"It is obvious that the decision to establish women's university at the cost of Rs. 500 crore at Raebareli and to name it after late Indira Gandhi is election-oriented. However, to say that this would be the nation's first women's university indicates total ignorance about the history of education in India."
Nearly a century back in 1916, the first women's university titled 'The Indian Women's University' was established by Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve at Pune.
Thereafter, in 1951 the name was changed to Smt Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) University' under an Act.
In 1939, Mahatma Gandhi presided over the annual convocation. Moreover in 1941, Dr S Radhakrishnan presided over the silver jubilee function; Prime Minister Pandit Nehru conferred Bharat Ratna on Maharshi Karve in 1958, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi presided over the golden jubilee function in 1966; Telecommunications Minister Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma released special commemoration stamp to mark the diamond jubilee in 1976 followed by the platinum jubilee function in 1991.