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Presidency gets 17 teachers

Calcutta, Sept. 1: Presidency University today endorsed 17 candidates selected for the post of assistant professor, including a Briton and a Bangladeshi.

They 17 are teachers of philosophy, sociology and molecular biology. Their selection was endorsed at a meeting of the Presidency University Council, the highest decision-making body of the varsity. Presidency mentor group chairman Sugata Bose attended the meeting.

The two assistant professors from abroad are David Allan Robjant, a PhD from the University of Wales who will teach philosophy, and Antu Saha, a PhD from Delhi University who will teach sociology.

“Robjant and Saha have been recruited as visiting faculty members. The university could not recruit them as full-time assistant professors because its existing rules do not allow recruitment of foreign nationals as whole-timers,” a Presidency source said.

The council unanimously decided today to urge the government to explore the possibility of amending the recruitment rules so that the university gets the freedom to employ “outstanding foreign nationals” as full-time teachers.

“We want to have the two as full-time faculty members and would ask the state government to explore the possibility of absorbing them as permanent faculty. Both the state government and the central government would have to work on creating provisions for absorbing outstanding foreign national applicants as permanent faculties. Till such provisions are created, they would work as visiting faculty in Presidency,” Bose said.

Presidency University has recruited 65 teachers till now.

Three young Presidency alumni — Upal Chakrabarti, Sukanya Sarbadhikary and Hia Sen — are among those selected as assistant professors of sociology. They were classmates and graduated in 2005.

“It feels wonderful to be back in Presidency, especially in the formative years of the university. We have the chance to bring in fresh ideas in teaching,” said Sukanya, who will be submitting her PhD thesis in social anthropology later this month to the University of Cambridge.

At today’s meeting, Prashanta Ray was appointed professor emeritus in the sociology department.