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Presi gets first chair professor

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday approved the name of the first of the five distinguished chair professors of Presidency University.

Amitabha Dasgupta, a senior professor and the dean of social science and humanities at the University of Hyderabad, has been selected as Distinguished Swami Vivekananda Chair Professor for philosophy.

“The name of Amitabha Dasgupta has been finalised as the Distinguished Swami Vivekananda Chair Professor at our university. The appointment letter will soon be issued. Dasgupta will join our university at the earliest,” Presidency vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar said.

“I am proud to get a chance to be associated with such a great institution. But I have to sort out certain practical difficulties before I can join,” Dasgupta told Metro. He will arrive in Calcutta on Wednesday and meet Sarkar.

The VC had met the chief minister at Nabanna on Monday for talks to finalise the name for the post of Swami Vivekananda chair professor. The chief minister’s office on Tuesday sent a note to the VC, directing her to announce Dasgupta’s name, a source said.

“The posts of distinguished professors have been created to provide academic leadership across disciplines. Dasgupta’s name has been announced as part of the process,” said Presidency mentor group chairman Sugata Bose, a Harvard University professor of history.

Dasgupta’s name has been selected by a search panel comprising Bose, Vidyasagar University VC Ranjan Chakrabarti and K.K. Lalkarna, a retired professor of Ranchi University.

It was Bose who had first proposed the appointment of distinguished chair professors for Presidency at a meeting with the chief minister in January 2012. The mentor group in its second report, too, had suggested to the government to recruit half a dozen academic leaders as distinguished university professors, who would mentor the other teachers and ensure better coordination among the departments.

The chief minister, who wants Presidency to evolve as a world-class institute, promised to do the needful. Later, she approved five posts of distinguished professors.

Other than Swami Vivekananda, the posts are named after Jagadis Chandra Bose (natural sciences), Rabindranath Tagore (literature and cultural studies), Subhas Chandra Bose (economics, political science and history) and Nazrul Islam (inter-cultural dialogue and peace studies). The process of selecting professors for the remaining posts will start soon.

CU professor

Radharaman Chakraborty, former VC of Netaji Subhas Open University, has been selected as the visiting Swami Vivekananda Chair Professor at Calcutta University.