The Presidency Alumni Association intends to confer the ''Atul Chandra Gupta Distinguished Alumnus Award'' on Nobel laureate Prof Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee as he has agreed to attend the felicitation programme of the association in January next year, the organisation's secretary Bivas Chaudhuri said on Thursday.
Some members of the association met Prof Banerjee at his Ballygunj apartment on Wednesday during his brief visit to the city and handed over a letter-signed by the organisation's President Nabaneeta Dev Sen-requesting him to be present at the programme.
"Banerjee has agreed to attend the programme", Mr Choudhury told PTI here.
The association had initially wanted to organise the function on January 20 during the founder's day celebrations of the institute, though the exact date of the ceremony will be decided depending on Banerjee's academic schedule and his availability, he said.
The association also "intends to confer the ''Atul Chandra Gupta Distinguished Alumnus Award'' for 2020 on the Nobel laureate", Mr Chaudhuri said.
The award was earlier given to poet Sankha Ghosh and professor emeritus at Jadavpur University Sukanta Chaudhuri.
"We will be inviting all the professors who had taught us and all his 1981 batch mates at Presidency to make it a memorable occassion," Mr Chaudhuri said.
Prof Banerjee had pursued his graduation in economics from the then Presidency College.
The alumni association will also invite the non-teaching staffs who were associated with the institute when Banerjee studied here, he said.
''Promod-da'', whose canteen had been an integral part of the Presidency till 2017, will also be invited to attend the function, Mr Chaudhuri said, adding that "Abhijit felt very enthusiastic as we told him how we are going to conduct it".
According to him, Banerjee is expected to speak at the one-day programme and there will be an informal adda session.
He said the association handed over an alumni publication to him and gave a box of his favourite sandesh (sweet) from an over hundred year old sweet shop in North Kolkata.
Presidency University also wants to hold a grand felicitation programme of its illustrious former student at a date which will be convenient for him and the institute, a varsity official said.
"We know about the alumni association's event. Let him give the date and we may decide after the announcement of their programme," the official said.
Prof Banerjee, an Indian-born American professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has won the Nobel Prize in economics for 2019 jointly with French-American Esther Duflo, his wife and Michael Kremer of Harvard University for "experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".
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