Presidency in ‘central’ league

The VC announced that the construction of Presidency’s second campus at Rajarhat had been completed and classes would begin in July this year

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 21.01.19, 12:25 AM
  • Updated 21.01.19, 9:34 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Presidency vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia (extreme right) helps alumnus and former RBI governor Bimal Jalan (extreme left) light the lamp at the institute’s 202nd Founders’ Day celebrations in Calcutta on Sunday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Presidency University now has infrastructure better than that of any centrally funded research institute, vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia said on Sunday, citing reports by experts from Banglore’s Indian Institute of Science and Delhi University.

“In the upgrade of our infrastructure, we have had scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, University of Hyderabad and Delhi University come and examine our labs. And the report they have given is that that they are better than (those of) any centrally funded research institute,” Lohia said at Presidency’s 202nd Founders’ Day celebrations held in association with The Telegraph.

Later, Lohia showed Bimal Jalan — Presidency alumnus and former Reserve Bank of India governor who delivered the Founders’ Day lecture — around the campus to highlight the infrastructure overhaul carried out over the past few years.

As Lohia was walking Jalan to the renovated Derozio Auditorium where the event was held, she drew his attention to the modernisation of Baker Building and the labs inside it.

“I can tell when Bimal Jalan or I were a student, the (Derozio) hall was not in such a good state,” the vice-chancellor said.

The renovation of Eden Hindu Hostel also featured in her address. The hostel, closed for repairs in July 2015, was handed over to students in November last year.

“We have tried to complete all renovation on time. Sometimes, we have succeeded, sometimes we were delayed. I thank the students for understanding why the renovation of the Hindu Hostel took some time. You are all happy there now,” Lohia said.

The vice-chancellor announced that the construction of Presidency’s second campus at Rajarhat had been completed and classes would begin in July this year.

A varsity official said the second campus would have five advanced study centres: school of astrophysics, school of biotechnology, school of public policy, school of informatics.

“We also hope to start a school of comparative literature soon,” said Lohia.

She hoped that in the next five years, Presidency would be among the top 10 institutes in the Union HRD ministry’s National Institutional Ranking Framework. Presidency is now ranked between 101 and 150 on the list as a university.

Jalan, an economics student of the erstwhile Presidency College, was conferred the Atul Chandra Gupta Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The president of the Presidency Alumni Association, writer Nabaneeta Deb Sen, was also present.

In his speech, Jalan touched on the economy and why the fight against poverty had not yielded the desired results.

“So far as the economy is concerned, India’s economic fundamentals are very strong, perhaps better than anywhere (else) in the world. Yet, we also have to accept that the largest number of poor below the poverty line are in India,” Jalan pointed out.

“We have to ask ourselves why. Why is it that we cannot alleviate poverty which, according to the Second Plan (1956-61), should have been abolished by 1980?” Jalan added.