"Given its achievements, there is no reason whatsoever why Calcutta University should not be treated on the same footing as Presidency University in all matters," he said while addressing the annual convocation programme of Calcutta University.

"The Presidency University Mentor Group has recommended that Presidency University be regarded in the future as the crown jewel of institutions of higher education in Bengal," he added.

Narayanan, who is also the chancellor of the Calcutta University, said Calcutta University was "already the crown jewel of institutions of higher education today".

"It, therefore, should be given the same special status and nurtured as a Centre of Excellence - something which is proposed to be done for Presidency University," he urged.

Narayanan said the Calcutta University, founded in 1857, should be encouraged to provide an intellectually exciting curriculum and make altercations in teachings and research that would be in sync with its exalted status.

The Presidency University mentor group, which has Nobel laureate Amartya Sen as advisor, has recommended the creation of a faculty capable of cutting-edge research to make the institution a centre of excellence.

The group was formed by West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee-led government to restore the lost glory of the institution, which was upgraded from a college to university last year by the erstwhile Left Front regime.