Suri college to welcome its most coveted alumnus

Pranab to visit his college today as the first citizen of country.

For the students of Suri Vidyasagar College it is a distinction to study here as the college where President of India Pranab Mukherjee once studied. Wednesday will be a big and exciting moment for the students and the teachers here as Mukherjee will visit the college for the first time after occupying the highest office of the country.

87-year-old Debranjan Mukhopadhyay, who once taught Bengali to Pranab, was delighted to hear that President will be felicitated by college teachers. "I used to praise his skills and intelligence right from his college days," Mukhopadhyay told The Indian Express as he remembered the days when Pranab studied Bengali Honours at the college.

He remembered Pranab as a "brilliant student" who used to stay at the college hostel and hated the food served in the hostel mess. "One day he told the cook of the hostel not to make curry and fish separately, as it destroys the taste of the fish," Mukhopadhyay said.

Pranab got admission to the college in 1952 — 10 years after it was established — and gave more importance to extra-curricular activities. According to his teacher, Pranab used to encourage friends to join National Cadet Corps and took part in various college debates. "He was a good orator," recalled Mukhopadhyay, who too is an alumnus of the college and was the first graduate of the college.

Meanwhile, at the college preparations were on in full swing to welcome its most respected alumnus. Partha Sankha Majumdar, who teaches history, said when Pranab was Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission in 2002, he sanctioned Rs 95 lakh for infrastructure development of the college. Lakshminarayan Mondal, the principal of the college, said he was glad that Mukherjee still remembers his roots and hoped that he will again visit the college.

V-C not allowed to present flowers to President

Vice-Chancellor of Visva Bharati University Dr Sushanta Dutta Gupta was not allowed to present floral bouquet to President Pranab Mukherjee when he arrived here on a helicopter on Tuesday afternoon. The felicitation was scheduled but was dropped at the last minute citing "protocol issues". Dutta Gupta did not comment, but later said that he does not belief in protocol issues. Uday Narayan Singh, the nodal officer in charge of monitoring the Wednesday's event at the university, refused to comment. The alumni association of the university said the V-C was not allowed to felicitate the President as charges of financial impropriety have been levelled against him. In the evening, V-C's wife met Pranab at the latter's brother residence.

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