Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Wednesday said help from the state governments was required to run universities but their attempt to control the educational institutions was uncalled for.
Sen, who is an aluumni of erstwhile Presidency College, was conferred honorary DLit. He also addressed the convocation of the Presidency University.
Without naming the BJP government, he said the minorities should be allowed to express their opinions freely and steps should be taken to ensure their rights. “Mere majority is not everything in democracy and multiplicity is equally important.”
He said the autonomy of educational institutions should be preserved. The government should play the role of a felicitator.
Renowned maritime historian and a member of the university’s mentor group Sugata Basu also spoke on the occasion.
January 20 is the foundation day of the university, which was set up in 1817. It is said that Raja Rammohun Roy was present in the meeting held in the house of Edward Hyde East when it was proposed to set up a college to spread English education.
A movement demanding autonomy status of the college started in the 1980 where former students of the college including Pandit Gourinath Shastri, Bhabotosh Dutta and Rajat Kanta Roy led the show. However, the college was not given autonomy status after the former Chief Minister, who was also a student of the same college, refused.
From 1980, the college was controlled by the Government Teachers Association of the CPI(M).
The college had lost its academic environment from 1990s.