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State names Presi board nominees

The state government has finalised the names of its nominees to the Presidency University governing board, paving the way for the constitution of what will be the lone decision-making body of the institution.

The ambit of the board sets apart Presidency from the other state universities, which have multiple decision-making bodies.

The state government on Wednesday sent the names of its three nominees to the university and said the vice-chancellor was free to start the process of convening the first meeting of the board.

The three government nominees are Krishnaswamy Vijay Raghavan (distinguished professor and former director of the National Centre for Biological Sciences), Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar (director of Chennai Mathematical Institute) and Satyabrata Pal (a former IFS officer and now member of the National Human Rights Commission).

VC Anuradha Lohia told Metro the university would wait for the higher education department to announce the “Appointed Day”, meaning the day from which the governing body would come into existence.

“We will draw up a list of all members of the board and send the names to the department. The department will then issue a notification, declaring the Appointed Day. After the declaration, the first meeting of the board would be called in consultation with the governor, the chancellor of the university,” said Lohia.

Governor M.K. Narayanan had last week sent the names of his two nominees to the board. They are physicist Bikash Sinha, a former director of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, and Subha Sankar Sarkar, the vice-chancellor of Netaji Subhas Open University.

The Presidency University Council had at its last meeting on May 29 announced that former Presidency vice-chancellor Malabika Sarkar, Harvard professor Sugata Bose, Nayanjot Lahiri (professor of archaeology at Delhi University), and Rahul Mukherjee (professor of statistics at IIM Calcutta) would join the board as its nominees.

The governing board will replace the council as the university’s highest decision-making body in keeping with the recommendations of the Presidency mentor group, headed by Harvard professor Bose.

The Presidency University Amendment Act, 2013, had specified the composition of the group.

Among the ex-officio members of the governing board are the chancellor, vice-chancellor, higher education secretary, finance secretary, chairman of the state higher education council and UGC chairman’s nominee. The other ex-officio members are the deans of science and arts, and three department heads (to be chosen alphabetically) of Presidency.

The board will also have four representatives of teachers, who will be elected by their colleagues. An alumnus, a student and and a research scholar would be special invitees to the board. The student and the research scholar will be chosen by the vice-chancellor. “It’s yet to be decided who will choose the representative of ex-students,” said an official.