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Mentor group change on cards

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and Malabika Sarkar

Former Presidency vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar is set to be part of the university’s mentor group, which will lose one of its members who will join the institute as a teacher.

Physicist Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, who has been part of the mentor group since its inception, will join the institute as the Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose Distinguished University Professor in natural sciences in August.

“As a distinguished chair professor, Bhattacharya will draw a salary from the institute. But the mentor group members render honorary service to the university. So, the scientist sought to be relieved as a member of the mentor group,” said an official in the higher education department.

The official, however, did not say who would be inducted in Bhattacharya’s place. The physicist refused to comment when contacted by Metro.

Higher education department sources said former VC Sarkar would be included in the mentor group following a recommendation from chief mentor Sugata Bose.

“Sugata Bose has recommended her name to be included in the group. We have decided to accept the recommendation,” said a source.

A few weeks ago, the Presidency council had recommended Sarkar’s name as its nominee to the proposed governing board, which would be the lone decision-making body of the university.

Sarkar, however, said: “I have no information about my name being proposed for the mentor group or the governing board. However, I would like to contribute to Presidency and would be honoured if I am part of the either body.”

The 10-member mentor group, set up in July 2011, was reduced to nine following the resignation of Sukanta Chaudhuri, professor emeritus at Jadavpur University, in August 2012.

Bhattacharya, a “distinguished professor” at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, had earlier declined the offer to be Presidency’s first full-term vice-chancellor and a member of the proposed governing board.

“As he had decided to opt out of the governing body following his selection as the distinguished chair professor, we replaced his name with that of former vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar,” said a university official.