One of the oldest higher education institutes in the country, Presidency College, is set to undergo a significant makeover soon.

The proposal of the college to modernise its science department has been approved by the Central government. The department of science and technology has sanctioned over Rs. 96 lakh for refurbishment of the departments of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biological sciences.

“There will be a centralised laboratory facility for all students,” said Roop Singh, head of chemistry department, and also coordinator of the Funds for Infrastructure Development in Science and Technology project, initiated by the college officials.

The focus will be on building an instrumentation laboratory and equipping laboratories with sophisticated equipment, he said.

Presidency College was established in 1840. Nobel laureates Dr. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and C.V. Raman studied here.

A look around the college reveals many of its laboratories could do with more maintenance. “The botany lab here has the best equipment. Having a centralised facility to distribute funds will help to channelise funds uniformly across departments,” a professor said.

There are also attempts to register the college building as a heritage structure. “Heeding the proposal made by the government, we have already instituted a committee to look into the issue,” said R. Sabanayagam, principal of the college.

The age-old institution can do much better with attention reserved for heritage buildings, said students and professors of the college.

“The toilets and many of the classrooms are in a dilapidated condition. We have been asking the Public Works Department and the electricity board to look into the problems here for months now but there has been no action,” a professor said.

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