I don’t know why but I have my own reason of extreme excitement over the Presidency University Act passed by West Bengal assembly recently. The institute originally founded as Hindoo College in 1817 and renamed as Presidency College in 1855, is getting an upgradation as University. I am among that huge lot of living alumni of Presidency College who can’t excuse the left government that did everything to pull down the College from its top position to a mediocre level. Many parents shied and eminent teachers deserted because of excessive government intervention. Fortunately, the left failed. Presidency College continued to retain its unique place.
Unfortunately, I don’t know why Presidency College or now Presidency University, the institute of excellence in Kolkata can’t employ the best teachers from all over the country and open it for the competitive admission for students from all over the country. I wish the states and the centre would have agreed to make all the best colleges in different capital cities as cosmopolitan as IITs and IIMs. It would have certainly enhanced its brand.
Presidency College with limited land space to grow will have to go out of the present location or will have to take the route of extension centres in different location. But I dream the birth of the innovation university with the new transformation of Presidency College to Presidency University. Can it have a separate college of each science subject, such as one College of Physics with offering of courses providing courses for honours bachelor degree to conducting post doctoral researches? Similar separate colleges can come up for different subjects, even of vernacular or foreign languages and other subjects in humanities. I am ready to share and expand my proposal with any educationist who can agree with me. Can the media help me in selling the idea of re-engineering of this new type of university?
However, the old building of the college with a history of its own and the Eden Hindu Hostel must be declared as heritage building and maintained for the posterity.
But I doubt if the new university can get the necessary autonomy and freedom to raise fund and decide and administer every academic aspect of educational courses. Otherwise, the Presidency University will remain under the state government and ruling political party that carry on its own political agenda.
I suggest the Presidency University to get benefited through all those who had been associated with this great old institute anytime in life as student or faculty. But still initiative will remain with those who shall be running its administration. Who shall be bringing the change?