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Lohia selected as Presidency VC

Calcutta, April 26: Anuradha Lohia, a bio-chemistry professor at Bose Institute, will be Presidency University’s first full-term vice-chancellor, it was formally announced today.

“Anuradha Lohia, senior professor, department of bio-chemistry, Bose Institute, has been selected as the vice-chancellor of Presidency University,” higher education minister Bratya Basu said in a text message to The Telegraph.

Governor M.K. Narayanan, the Presidency chancellor who selected Lohia, 58, has told her to meet him at Raj Bhavan on Monday. This is the first time in recent memory that the governor has summoned a vice-chancellor days after selection.

“After Sabyasachi Bhattacharya declined the offer even after the chancellor issued an order appointing him Presidency vice-chancellor on April 10, the governor wants to be sure that Lohia will take charge,” a source said.

Minister Basu said an official notification announcing the appointment of Lohia, who had done her BSc from the erstwhile Presidency College, her date of joining and other terms and conditions of the job would be issued after the meeting with the governor.

Higher education secretary Vivek Kumar called up Lohia this afternoon and informed her about her selection.

“I have been asked to join at the earliest,” Lohia told this newspaper. “I am extremely honoured to get a chance to serve my alma mater. Whatever I learnt at Presidency College, I will return it for the best of Presidency University. I am ready to commit myself to the institution,” she added.

Asked what her priorities would be, Lohia said: “After joining, I want to speak to all my colleagues and faculty members. Only then I’ll decide the course of action.”

Lohia, who studied at Modern High School, joined Bose Institute as a lecturer in 1989.

Interim vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar’s tenure ends on May 15. Sarkar had said yesterday she would leave office on May 13.

According to sources, Lohia is scheduled to leave for the UK on May 6 on an academic assignment and return on May 26.

Asked if she would formally join before May 6, Lohia said: “Since I have been asked to meet the chancellor on Monday, I hope things will be clear after I consult him.”

Harvard professor Sugata Bose, the chairman of the Presidency mentor group, said: “I am delighted at her appointment.”