The governing council of Gujarat Vidyapith, a renowned institution set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920, announced its intention to ask Acharya Devvrat, the current Governor of Gujarat, to accept the position of the university’s 12th Chancellor. This decision was made during an extended evening meeting of the council.

Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)

The council also officially acknowledged the resignation of Ela Bhatt, the incumbent Chancellor. Known for her Gandhian principles and social activism, Bhatt founded the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), an organization committed to supporting low-income, self-employed women.

In a press release, the Ahmedabad-based University stated, “In our October 4 meeting, after thorough deliberation, we decided to honor Ela Bhatt’s wishes and accept her resignation as Chancellor.” The university also affirmed that Bhatt would remain in her current role until October 19.

The university’s statement also expressed their plan to invite Governor Acharya Devvrat to take on the role of the 12th Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith. A delegation from the university will be assigned to extend the invitation to the Governor formally.

Recent changes in the institution

Recently, at 89, Bhatt chose to step down from her position, citing her advanced age and asking the university trustees to find a suitable replacement. Bhatt, a Ramon Magsaysay award laureate, assumed the leadership of the Gandhian institution in March 2015, succeeding the previous Chancellor, Narayan Desai.

Mahatma Gandhi, the founder of Gujarat Vidyapith, on October 18, 1920, served as its Chancellor for his entire life. Since then, the Chancellor’s position has been held by eminent personalities such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, and Morarji Desai throughout the university’s 102-year history. Acharya Devvrat took up his role as the Gujarat Governor in June 2019, having previously served as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh.

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