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Faculty rule tweak mulled for Presi

The state government will approach the Centre to suggest ways to recruit two foreigners as full-time teachers of Presidency University.

Higher education minister Bratya Basu said this on the sidelines of a programme at Rabindra Bharati University on Monday, three days after Presidency announced a list of 17 candidates selected as assistant professors, including two foreigners who would be hired as visiting assistant professors.

The two are British national David Allan Robjant, a PhD from the University of Wales, and Bangladeshi Antu Saha, a PhD from Delhi University. Robjant will teach philosophy and Saha, sociology.

A UGC rule bars recruitment of foreigners as full-time teachers.

“We will explore the possibility of absorbing them (Saha and Robjant) as full-time faculty. The state government will talk to the Centre to find out ways to appoint foreign nationals in a permanent position,” said minister Basu.

The minister’s statement followed a unanimous resolution by the Presidency University Council on Saturday, urging the government to explore the possibility of allowing the institution “absolute freedom” to recruit outstanding scholars from abroad as permanent teachers.

“We want to have the two (Saha and Robjant) as full-time teachers. The state and the Centre both would have to work on creating provisions for appointing outstanding applicants from abroad as permanent teachers. If such provisions are not created, we will lose out on brilliant teachers,” said Sugata Bose, the Presidency mentor group chairman and a council member.

Officials told Metro that the government might insert a clause in the Presidency University Act (amendment) Bill to facilitate appointment of foreigners as full-time teachers.

“We need to get security nod from the home and external affairs ministries for such appointments. We will also find out the rules foreign universities follow while recruiting teachers from India in permanent positions,” said the official. The UGC, too, will have to amend its laws to facilitate such recruitment, he added.