The Presidency University mentor group has sought Rs 50 crore from the state government for the renovation of the crumbling Baker Building of the institute where world- class laboratories are set to come up.
“Presidency University has recruited some outstanding teachers for various departments, including physics and biosciences. The renovation and setting up of research facilities in Baker Building is crucial to retaining the newly-recruited teachers,” mentor group chairman Sugata Bose told Metro after submitting the group’s fourth report to chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday.
In the report, the group has suggested that modern laboratories be set up in the building for advanced research in physics and biological sciences.
Stalwarts such as Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, Satyendra Nath Bose and Meghnad Saha had once worked in Baker Building, where students and teachers run the risk of being hit by chunks falling off a fragile ceiling.
Metro had on January 29 highlighted the sorry state of the building and how students and staff in a ground-floor physics laboratory were being protected by a synthetic net from falling concrete chunks.
In its 20-page report, the mentor group has sought Rs 50 crore from the state government for the building’s renovation and urged the government to clarify how much it could provide.
“The state government needs to clarify the extent to which it will be able to support the infrastructure development needs of Presidency University between now and the 200th anniversary in January 2017. This will enable us to plan fund-raising efforts from the central government and private sectors,” the report said.
The fourth report states a one-time special budgetary allocation of Rs 200 crore has been sought from the Prime Minister for building state-of-the-art infrastructure in time for Presidency’s 200th anniversary in January 2017.
The statement is in contrast to what the mentor group had said in its second report, submitted in February last year: “We note with appreciation the efforts by the state government in trying to get a very substantial allocation in the range of Rs 200 crore for Presidency University in the budget of 2012.” The report had stated that the money was being sought to develop infrastructure in the run up to Presidency’s bi-centenary in 2017.
“Given the state’s financial crunch, the proposal has been slightly reworked,” Bose said on Tuesday. Stressing the need for faculty retention, the group has written in the fourth report: “Now that we have been successful in recruiting outstanding faculty, our next challenge is retention....”