West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday called upon leading higher educational institutes of the state such as Presidency and Jadavpur universities to strive towards occupying the number one slot in the world, pipping Harvard or Oxford. Modern subjects should be taught in institutes of the state so that students do not have go outside, Banerjee said while inaugurating the second campus of the Presidency University at New Town near here.
She complimented Presidency for introducing five such new subjects - crop bio-technology, informatics-information security, digital forensic, public policy, and astrophysics. These subjects will be taught in the new campus in collaboration with respective departments of the state government, the chief minister said.
"We are ready to extend you any help in your pursuit for excellence. If needed introduce five more subjects, we are ready to help," Banerjee commented. "I am looking forward to the day when the largest number of students from all over the world will come to Bengal - to Presidency and Jadavpur. I am looking forward to the day when our institutes will be considered the world's best pipping institutions such as Harvard and Oxford," the CM said in her speech.
Banerjee said the state has given land free of cost to Presidency for building the second campus, the foundation stone of which was laid two years back. "We have also given land to Calcutta University for building their new campus in the area, and Jadavpur. We have given land to St Xavier's and their new campus building has already come up. We wish to build an Education hub in the area," the chief minister said.
She said the government was working on a scheme under which teachers of one university can go to another as visiting professors as part of an exchange programme which was aimed at enhancing academic excellence. Paying rich tribute to the Presidency, Banerjee said the 200-year-old institute have contributed to the progress of the state in different fields during the period.
Presidency Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said, the 'smart campus', built at a cost of Rs 183 crore given by the state, will help students in various disciplines which have more relevance in contemporary times. "For instance in crop technology, we intend to pursue research so that we can provide high yield seeds to farmers with the help of agriculture department of state government," she said.
Lohia also mentioned the importance of subjects like Information Security and public policy. The courses were slated to start from this July..