Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Suranjan Das has written to the former students of the chemical engineering department to make “liberal financial contributions” on the occasion of the department’s centenary for the creation of a fund for necessary expenses that will strengthen teaching and research programmes.
The letter was circulated to the alumni through WhatsApp and email by the department.
The department, set up in 1921 with collective efforts of personalities such as Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, will commemorate its centenary on February 25. The department intends to create a corpus that would go into the development of its infrastructure and initiation of research in cutting-edge areas.
The university, which is encountering financial constraints following a drop in support from the state and central governments, has sought to reach out to the alumni to raise resources.
“I earnestly request the alumni to make liberal financial contributions for the creation of a centenary fund which would be not only utilised to organise the celebration but also to undertake necessary expenditure to strengthen the department’s teaching and research programmes to enable it to attain new heights of academic excellence,” reads the appeal by the VC. “I shall remain grateful if this appeal receives a favourable response”.
When contacted, Das declined to comment.
It is not the first time that he has appealed to former students for money. In October 2022, the VC had written to a platform of former students for funds for the university because “government funding is becoming inadequate”.
Dwipen Ghosh, a former student of the department and also a director on the board of directors of Global Jadavpur University Alumni Foundation – a California, US platform - to which the VC had appealed for funds – said they were working on a plan to raise Rs 15 lakh. “We want to renovate the laboratories of the department.
We want to use the occasion of the centenary to raise as much resources as possible and are in touch with the head of the department, Rajat Chakrabarti,” said Ghosh, who graduated from the department in 1965. “We have raised sponsorship for the centenary celebration and the surplus from there would be used for the lab renovation”.
The foundation last month contributed around Rs 7 lakh to the university for buying 15 new computers for the production engineering department.