Presidency University vice-chancellor Anuradha lohia and Trinamool Congress MP Sugato Bose, who is also the chief mentor of the prestigious educational institution, have rejected senior Bengal Minister Subroto Mukherjee's contention that the overall environment in the university had deteriorated and that it should be closed down for a few years.
"Things have improved a great deal ever since I took over in 2011," said Bose, a scholar of History and grand nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, adding that there was no need to take off putting views on the great educational institution which had been doing better by the day.
While the Trinamool MP apparently evaded confrontation by making a direct reference to Mukherjee, Presidency vice-chancellor Anuradha lohia was at a loss to understand as to why the senior Minister had to make a pessimistic comment on Bengal's most prestigious institution.
"I don't know why he (Mukherjee) made a comment like that as the Presidency has improved tremendously over the past few years. We have been enriched by estimable faculty members and standard of teaching is high. So why should one bother to close it down for no worthy reason to countIJ" lohia, who is one of those educationists enjoying the trust of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said.
Referring to the recent chain of events in JU and Presidency campuses, the Bengal Minister had earlier said, "In the past we often rued not getting an opportunity to study in these institutions. But today when we see the state of affairs there, we consider ourselves fortunate not to have got that opportunity".
Notwithstanding their academic standards, both the institutions have been a bastion of extreme left politics and the students' politics in these two institutions have always pursued anti-establishment course.
Attacking the depleting cultural standards inside the campus, Mukherjee said, "Once the country's premier institutions, these two institutions have suffered political and cultural degradation these days."
"look at the dress sense at the campus. There is no problem with what you wear but it would make better sense if you use more cloth than required to make a handkerchief to stitch your dresses," he said and added "such cultural degradation in these institutions is affecting the society as a whole as the youth look up to JU and Presidency for inspiration."
He went on to say that "these two institutions should be closed down for a few years so that things fall in place".