December 19, 2016

Four years after the State Government passed the Presidency University Bill in 2010, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee visited Presidency University. However, the visit took place 9 miles away from the College Street campus. It was at the 10-acre plot allotted to the University by the State Government in New Town, Rajarhat. While unveiling the foundation stone of the second campus, the Chief Minister proposed the idea of a ‘Global Educational Summit’ to co-incide with the bicentenary of the institution that started life in 2017 as Hindu College. The purpose was to showcase the prospects of West Bengal as a destination for higher education and to reflect on the direction higher education might take in India. Two years hence, we are witnessing the fruition of the idea.

The Summit, perhaps the biggest of its kind in India in recent memory, will start with the Dipak Banerjee Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by the Nobel Laureate in Economics, Jean Tirole, at Derozio Hall at 10.30 am on 5 January 2017 at Derozio Hall. Amartya Sen will chair the session. For two weeks, more than 40 eminent scholars from various disciplines, academic administrators and policy-makers will be attending the Summit and speaking on topics ranging from Biology, Earth Sciences, Economics, and Physics to History, Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Politics and the Performing Arts. The broad theme of the conference is the future of higher education in the sciences and the humanities, and the possible convergence of the two.

There will be exhibitions and cultural events, concerts, stand-up comedy show, a heritage walk organised by the Alumni Association, an economics festival put together by students named Arthatantra, an international debate featuring debaters from the London School of Economics, Harvard University, Emory University, Cambridge University and Presidency that Calcutta Debating Circle will be collaborating on.

Presidency University will be celebrating its bicentenary throughout 2017, and many such events are planned.

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