Alumnus chosen Presi chair professor

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  • Published 27.09.14

Jadavpur University professor Swapan Chakravorty has been selected Rabindranath Tagore Distinguished Chair Professor in Literature and Cultural Studies at Presidency University.

The Presidency governing board — the university’s highest decision-making body — had endorsed the name of the former director-general of National Library for the post at a meeting held on Thursday, vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia told Metro. Chakravorty is also a member of the Presidency University mentor group.

“The board has approved his name for the post which had been created to provide academic leadership. He is expected to join us soon. If he joins, we could say that at a time when there is a lot of talk about teachers quitting Presidency and heading to rival JU, we have snatched one back from JU,” said Lohia.

Early this month, Ambar Nath Ghosh had resigned as head of Presidency’s economics department and returned to Jadavpur University, from where he had come nine months ago.

Ghosh’s decision triggered speculations on whether the fledgling “centre of excellence” was failing to retain teachers who had once lapped up its promises.

Chakravorty, who is over 60 years old and is on reemployment at JU, declined comment when Metro contacted him for his reaction.

“I am yet to receive any formal communication,” said Chakravorty, an alumnus of the erstwhile Presidency College.

The post of distinguished university professor is a full-term post that one can hold for five years or till he/she turns 65, whichever is earlier, said a university official.

So if Chakravorty decides to join his alma mater, he would have to quit JU.

Asked whether he would choose Presidency over JU, Chakravorty said: “Let the Presidency send me a formal offer. I would have to see the terms and conditions. Then I would take it up with JU for a final decision.”

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, a distinguished professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and former director of the institute, had last week joined Presidency as Acharya Jagadis Chandra Bose Distinguished University Professor in Natural Sciences .

Amitabha Dasgupta, a senior professor and the dean of social science and humanities at the University of Hyderabad, was selected Swami Vivekananda Distinguished Chair Professor for Philosophy early this year. He is yet to join Presidency.

Sajal Nag, who teaches history at Assam Central University, was selected Subhas Chandra Bose Distinguished Chair Professor in Economics, Political Science and History last month. He is yet to join the College Street institution, too.

Presidency has one more post of chair professor — Nazrul Islam Distinguished Chair Professor in Inter-cultural Dialogue and Peace Studies — for which no one has been selected yet.