Published On: Wed, Oct 12th, 2011

Malabika Sarkar to head Presidency University

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West Bengal Education minister Bratya Basu has chosen Malabika Sarkar, a retired professor of English literature from Jadavpur University, to head Presidency University.

The official announcement was made by Bratya Basu on October 11 here. He said that Sarkar had been given a year’s tenure, but it may be renewed.

Malabika is an alumni of Presidency College where she studied as an undergraduate many years ago.

An expert on John Milton and Romantic literature, Sarkar, 62, had graduated from Presidency College in 1968. Sarkar did her second BA from New Hall, Cambridge University, from where she also obtained her MA.

“She will help immensely in building Presidency’s international image. It is an excellent appointment,” Sugata Bose, chief of the Presidency mentor group, said from Xian in China. “The mentors would be looking forward to working with her. We are delighted,” he added.

Sarkar said she had been approached for her new role before she left for a vacation in Europe about a fortnight ago.

Presidency’s first vice-chancellor, Amita Chatterjee, was a JU philosophy professor. As her term came to a close, the government offered her a conditional extension: for two months or until the arrival of the new VC, whichever was earlier. Chatterjee declined the offer.

Sarkar, who retired from Jadavpur University in 2009, will join Presidency after its offices reopen on October 17.

“It’s a huge challenge and a very exciting one,” said Sarkar. “We have to look at how Presidency can be placed and developed in the national and international context.”