University to seek intervention of Manmohan, Pranab

Up against a “bureaucratic hurdle” over the appointment of three faculty members — all foreign nationals — at Presidency University, the institution’s Mentor Group has decided to take the matter later this month to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee.

 “The University had appointed three faculty members who are foreign nationals about six months ago but they have not been able to join due to existing laws. We will raise the issue at the highest level of the government to ensure that these professors are able to teach at the University,” Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University and chairperson of the University’s Mentor Group told The Hindu on Tuesday.

Professor Bose, along with Nobel laureate Amartya Sen who is adviser to the Mentor Group, are likely to raise the issue during their visit to New Delhi later this month.

“In the past, people such as Rabindranath Tagore and Ashutosh Mukherjee were able to involve foreign nationals as faculty members in different universities but we are unable to do it now,” he said.

Presidency University has appointed a national from United Kingdom as a professor of philosophy, a person from Bangladesh as a faculty in sociology department and a resident of Cameroon in the department of political science.

Stating that the varsity was all set for an expansion, Prof. Bose said the Centre should “respond to the university demands” and allow the foreign nationals to be appointed as faculty members.

The 197-year-old institution that was upgraded to a State university in 2010 had appointed over 150 faculty members over the past one year of which 80 have teaching experience in foreign universities.