Fifty years after Dr Manmohan Singh delivered his last lecture at Panjab University(PU), the former Prime Minister is set to return to his alma mater after accepting the offer of professorship for the Jawaharlal Nehru Chair.
"We have worked out the logistics, which was the main problem. He is happy to be able to come here and interact with students," said PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover. "He might deliver lectures during his visit to Chandigarh and the remaining ones through video conferencing."
Dr Singh, an economist credited with steering reforms in the 1990s as finance minister, has accepted the position of professor for the university's Jawaharlal Nehru Chair.
Singh completed his masters in economics from PU in 1954 and joined as senior lecturer in economics in 1957. He left in 1966, when he was appointed economic affairs officer (UNCTAD) at the UN Secretariat, New York. Panjab University vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover said former VC RP Bambah had raised the subject of teaching with the former prime minister at a function in Chandigarh a few months back.
"Bambah had told him that the visit would be for a week. He had then said he would consider it," Grover said. "Once he establishes contact, students can later visit him in Delhi."
Bambah said professorship chairs in Panjab University were meant for interaction of the community with distinguished people and to inspire students, faculty and departments.
Singh, he said, won't take up any research in Panjab University but interact with students and departments to inspire them.
Meanwhile, the Manmohan Singh Chair at PU, introduced in 2009, got a new occupant. It would now be occupied by noted economist professor Yoginder K Alagh. The chair was lying vacant since June 2015 after its first occupant Ajit Singh passed away.