In order to encourage and stop exodus of scholars, young professors and researchers from the state, the West Bengal State Council for Higher Education is planning to introduce awards of appreciation, said Sugata Marjit, chairman of the council, on Thursday at a seminar observing the 150th birth anniversary of Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee.
“The council is planning to give awards to young professors who will excel in research. The mathematical science award will be named after Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee,” said Marjit at an interactive session on higher education at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). “The gross enrolment ratio (GER) of the state stands at 13% in contrary to the national average of 18%. This means only 13 students out of a 100 opt for higher education in this state. The state will have to work hard to reach the national average,” he added.
The particulars of the award are, however, yet to be finalised, as it largely depends on the resources and funds that can be acquired for the project, said Marjit.
On the other hand, Marjit also encouraged private companies to set up private universities in the districts to broaden the access to higher education for students from the state’s interiors. “Many private firms had approached me to set up universities in the districts. They want to appoint professors who retired at the age of 60 as according to them they should not have retired at 60,” said Marjit.
Professor Somak Ray Chaudhury also agreed with Marjit on giving private companies a chance to set up institutes. “The time has come when research works in universities need to be funded by the private companies. Sir Ashutosh also wanted to involve private sponsorship for research work. The field of research has a lot to contribute to the private companies, and it would not be philanthropy,” said Chaudhury at the same event.
The council has also revived the Statewide University Network (SUN) project, a brainchild of Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, which is a collaborative programme among the state, national and international universities.