India Today - - EDUCATION - By Malini Ban­er­jee

Striv­ing for ex­cel­lence is a motto many ex­alted in­sti­tutes have up­held. But the Univer­sity of Cal­cutta has gone a step be­yond. “We be­lieve in striv­ing for ex­cel­lence, but with prin­ci­ples of eq­uity and jus­tice. The fruits of ex­cel­lence should be shared with the so­ci­ety at large,” says Vice- Chan­cel­lor Su­ran­jan Das.

Ed­u­ca­tion with a heart is a be­lief that echoes in the value sys­tem of the univer­sity stu­dents. “Our motto is ‘ not me but you’,” says po­lit­i­cal science post­grad­u­ate stu­dent Mousumi Mazum­dar, who has been a National Ser­vice Scheme ( NSS) vol­un­teer with the univer­sity for five years. “We are one of the few uni­ver­si­ties where the Univer­sity Grants Com­mis­sion ( UGC) has spon­sored the es­tab­lish­ment of the Babu Jagji­van Ram Chair for so­cial em­pow­er­ment. This is recog­ni­tion that the Univer­sity of Cal­cutta has been able to trans­mit knowl­edge from within the cam­pus and be­yond for so­cial bet­ter­ment,” says Das.

NSS vol­un­teers of the univer­sity, com­monly known as CU, ac­tively or­gan­ise blood do­na­tion and tha­las­saemia camps as well as cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties. They rush to help when­ever disas­ter strikes. “When the shanties near the Ultadanga Rail­way Colony caught fire on Jan­uary 26 this year for in­stance, our vol­un­teers rushed from across the city and sub­urbs to help,” says Ar­pita Das who was awarded the best NSS vol­un­teer prize in 2012- 13. It is for

Or­gan­is­ing the 100th Science Congress was a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence in keep­ing the univer­sity’s motto of de­vel­op­ing a link be­tween science and so­ci­ety.

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