“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
– Nelson Mandela
As the first Vice Chancellor of Dakshin Dinajpur University (DDU), I would like to foremost affirm with great humility as well as joyful excitement that this appointment is indeed an honor, a rare privilege for me after 33 years of my academic trajectory.
I take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Government of West Bengal for entrusting me with this big a responsibility and duty. The installation of DDU amidst this pandemic ravaged times will epitomize the indomitable spirit of human resilience in our unrelenting pursuit for knowledge, academic excellence, and holistic development of our youth. As a famous Chinese proverbial saying goes (by Lao Tzu), “A journey of a thousand mile starts with a single step”, a step towards realizing DDU has now been taken.
The district of Dakshin Dinajpur, a prominent cultural centre of the undivided province of Bengal today falls under the far eastern part of West Bengal. With a population of just over 16 lakh people, this district encompassing an area of 2162 sq km, has emerged as a hub of rich historical heritage. My association with the district began while mentoring several post graduate students from Dakshin Dinajpur enrolled at the North Bengal University where I was a Faculty member at the Department of Economics (March 1988 - January 2021), and which continued throughout my Deanship of Faculty Council of PG Studies in Arts, Commerce and Law (July 2017-January 2021) and, till the time I joined as Vice Chancellor at DDU.
The extensive research and field-work activities that I, along with my colleagues and students undertook throughout the district, spanning over two decades, have further strengthened and nurtured this relationship with the district and its people. The aspiration for higher education and learning is palpable in Dakshin Dinajpur. It is evident from the District’s high literacy rate of 73.86% (Census 2011), with commendable literacy rates for both men and women and also from my various encounters and meeting of students from Dakshin Dinajpur some 300-400 km away from the district at the University of Calcutta during my post graduation days, and later as a teacher at North Bengal University. In fact, the focus on higher education and learning in the district dates back to 1948 when Balurghat College was established to primarily cater to educational needs of those displaced due of the partition of Bengal. Several colleges have since come up across the District to provide higher education to the students of the District. After nearly 63 years of establishing the first college in the District, the Dakshin Dinajpur University - the institution of research and teaching will fill up the need for the highest seat of learning while addressing the aspirations of the people of the district.
I am at the threshold of facilitating and shaping a higher educational University that will not only cater to the academic needs and aspirations of the people of Dakshin Dinajpur but one, that will be inclusive of the diverse heterogenous communities outside the district, across the State of West Bengal and even all over India.
The proactive and dedicated cooperation from the various local and state-level administrative departments has emboldened me to shoulder this monumental task. I am enthused by the involvement and interest evinced by both the Government and the District administration.
Together with the people of the District, we will make it happen. I am confident that all of us will passionately and collectively work towards making DDU a success story for our young-students, young-minds and young-generation. I am equally confident that I will receive the blessings and full support from the people of Dakshin Dinajpur including all the stakeholders.
I appeal to you all - let us embark together on this challenging yet noble journey to shape Dakshin Dinajpur University as an institution of academic and research excellence that will uphold key human values of equality, justice, integrity and ethics.
The trajectory of Dakshin Dinajpur University will however not be without its own sets of challenges and constraints, especially in this Covid-19 pandemic. I remain committed, enthused and ready to transform these challenges and turn them into opportunities for the people of Dakshin Dinajpur. I envision a day when the people of Dakshin Dinajpur will look back with pride and a sense of belonging to this much cherished University. And as for me, I will be forever thankful to God and all of my well wishers for having bestowed on me this once in a life time opportunity of duty and service to from a much celebrated seat of learning in the district of Dakshin Dinajpur.
Please be with me in this journey in the pursuit of excellence.