UK professor for Presidency Infosys chair

Appointment of Indrajit Ray, now at Cardiff Business School, ends a 10-month wait to fill the post

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 27.11.18, 3:26 AM
  • Updated 27.11.18, 3:26 AM
  • a min read
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Prof Indrajit Ray: said to be a great mentor Indrajit Ray's homepage

Indrajit Ray, professor of economics at Cardiff Business School in the UK, has been appointed Presidency University’s new Infosys distinguished chair professor in economics, ending a 10-month wait for a suitable candidate to fill the position vacated by Pulak Ghosh.

The search committee comprising vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia, professor Abhirup Sarkar of the Indian Statistical Institute and former IIM Calcutta professor Anup Sinha picked Ray last week from a shortlist of distinguished teachers based in India and abroad.

“We believe our students will receive from Ray the guidance they had been looking for. We have heard he is great as a mentor, besides being capable of providing the economics department academic leadership,” Lohia said.

Ghosh, the previous Infosys distinguished chair professor in economics, completed a two-year term at Presidency before returning to IIM Bangalore. He is a professor of decision sciences and information systems.

Ray, who did his schooling at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith in Purulia and later studied at Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur, is likely to join Presidency in January, the vice-chancellor said. His area of research includes game theory and environmental economics.

Infosys Foundation, a not-for-profit initiative of Infosys Ltd, had donated Rs 5 crore in 2015 to set up the chair in economics, a discipline in which the erstwhile Presidency College had produced several stalwarts.

The erstwhile Presidency mentor group, headed by Harvard professor Sugata Bose, had advised in its sixth and last report this January that the position of Infosys chair professor in economics should be filled at the earliest as the “once renowned department of economics has no senior faculty”.

A prior attempt to find Ghosh’s successor was called off for want of suitable candidates willing to accept the assignment. According to the earlier advertisement, the Infosys chair in economics was to have a new incumbent by June.

How long Ray will stay at Presidency is apparently up to him. “This is not a tenured position. We have left it to Ray to decide the duration of his stay,” an official said.