For President Pranab Mukherjee, this was perhaps a special visit to the City of Joy. “This may be my last visit to Kolkata in my capacity as the president of the Republic of India,” he said. The president completes his term next month. Mukherjee, who has lived here and also made several visits to the city as the president, as a minister and an MP, was here to inaugurate celebrations of the 125th birth anniversary of P C Mahalanobis at the Indian Statistical Institute here.
He expressed happiness at having received an opportunity to address “mighty minds” in the form of teachers, researchers and students during the function at a time when he was nearing completion of his tenure. Mukherjee said “dogmatism and rigidity” of mind were the most obstructive forces for progress and development and one should accept ideas with an open mind and then analyse them to find solutions to problems.
He talked about the reforms undertaken by the previous Congress government in 1991 and specifically referred to the working of the public sector undertakings, some of which are still earning profits.