Presi convocation reflects on past and plans for future

Presi convocation reflects on past and plans for future

TNN | Dec 22, 2014, 05.37 AM IST

KOLKATA: Presidency University on Sunday held its second convocation in the presence of vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia, governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, higher education minister Partha Chatterjee and former governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

Literary theorist and Columbia University professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature. Molecular biologist Inder Mohan Verma was also given a doctorate in science in absentia.

Gandhi’s speech was followed by spontaneous applause by the students. “Heartfelt congratulations to you. Being a Presidency student is a big opportunity. And it brings with it a bigger responsibility. It’s just like being an Indian. It’s a big opportunity, but there is a bigger responsibility towards fellow Indians,” he said.

“Do not look at political leaders’ guidance. Do not look at corporate or religious leaders for inspiration. Look for your clean conscience for guidance,” he added.

Tripathi said: “We must look within for enlightenment. India has one of the world’s largest higher education system. But, we shouldn’t be complacent with quantity, but focus on quality.”

Lohia addressed the students after Tripathi declared the convocation open. She spoke about the upgrade of curriculum and laboratories. “We have had several important projects, notably one which researched on Dutch-Bengal connections. We have turned our attention to restoring our heritage buildings,” said the vice-chancellor.

Chatterjee said that the state government was pumping in funds for the institute.

When asked about the Jadavpur University convocation, he said: “Convocation comes only once in a lifetime. I appeal to all JU students to consider attending this day. They will have plenty time to express their anguish later.”

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