Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen will be the adviser to the Mentor Group which has been set up by the West Bengal government to help Presidency University regain its excellence. The first meeting of the Mentor Group is now scheduled to be held in July. The aim is to turn the university into a world class research and teaching institution by its 200th anniversary in 2017-18.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Wednesday that Professor Sen has agreed to the proposal and would advise the 10-member committee, which is chaired by Sugata Bose. The committee has been constituted by Professor Bose, Gardiner professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Harvard University, and a grand-nephew of Subhash Chandra Bose.

Mr. Bose said that while eight persons have already agreed to be part of the Mentor Group, approval was awaited from the remaining two. He said that the group is charged with the task of making a set of short, medium and long-term recommendations and monitoring implementation of these over the next two years. The first report was expected in by August 2011 and the last by June 2013.

He said that Professor Sen will be here on July 7 in connection with work relating to the Nalanda University of which he is the Chief Mentor. He may meet the Chief Minister.

The tasks that the mentor group would address include governance structure and ways to improve the faculty, the library and the laboratory at Presidency.

Importantly, among the terms of reference of the Group are to propose amendments to the Presidency University Act and to streamline the admissions process in order to recruit the best students. The terms also include creating provisions for short courses to be taught by distinguished visiting international scholars. There is also a move to create international partnerships and exchanges with select international universities.