Seshadripuram Educational Trust (SET) is one of the oldest educational managements in the country and the city of Bangalore. SET is a symbol of emergent and independent India, symbolising the ambitions and aspirations of the free nation, its sense of dedication and spirit of sacrifice which permeated the freedom movement. Dr Wooday P Krishna, General Secretary, Seshadripuram Educational Trust speaks to City Express about the trust, the college and its future plans.
While there are many colleges and educational trusts in the city, according to you, what are the unique features of SET and its colleges?
SET had humble beginnings; but right from the start, it was imbued with a vision and mission. The organisation began with thirteen children, but over the years, it grew steadfastly to its present stature as a global conglomerate of premier educational institutions, with 26 institutions employing over 1,000 employees and educating over 20,000 students. Our vision is rooted in tradition, but it is keeping pace with changing trends in the educational scenario, facing new challenges and setting and meeting higher benchmarks.
Seshadripuram College is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and value based education. Its ambiance inspires learning. Diverse opportunities are provided for learner's self expression and empowerment - be it classroom interactions, co-curricular or extracurricular activities, sports, social service, humanitarian initiatives, NSS, NCC etc.
Do you have exchange programmes?
In the recent months SET and its institutions have been expanding its activities overseas. Student and faculty exchange programmes have been initiated with Grimsby Institute in UK, University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University in the USA. There is a steady exchange of students and faculties to and from these universities. SET’s colleges are now on the global educational map, recognised as centers of excellence in education and research. Students from many countries find SET colleges congenial for pursuing higher education — African and South Asian countries.
What are the main courses offered?
Arts, Science, Humanities, Social Sciences,Commerce and Management - we offer courses in all these areas. We are at par with the recent developments in life sciences, information technology and computing - Biotechnology, Genetics, Computer Science etc. Plans for introducing new postgraduate courses are on the anvil.
How would you rate higher education in the state?
Higher Education in the country, in Karnataka and in Bangalore are at crossroads. One-third of the country’s population is of the college-going age. This fact alone poses a humongous problem and a daunting challenge for educational planners. Facilities, opportunities and avenues have to measure up to this enormous demand. In the present feverish scramble for higher education, it is a challenge to maintain quality. The poser is : how to provide world-class education to the ever growing numbers of aspirants? Universities and colleges have grown by leaps and bounds. But the sad fact stares in our face: not a single Indian university figures anywhere in a list of the top 200 universities across the world! The scenario has been aptly described as ‘islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity’ by the Prime Minister.
How has SET played a role in enhancing quality of education?
SET institutions are ‘islands of excellence’, standing testimony to quality higher education. We have demonstrated that it is possible to provide quality higher education to large numbers of students. In all our institutions, the fee structure is affordable. The income generated is ploughed back into developing the institutions and their infrastructure and teaching-learning resources. The State as a provider of higher education has woefully failed.
The task of providing higher education to the swelling millions of aspirants is daunting but the budgetary provisions are incommensurate. Hence government colleges and state universities fail to attract the best teaching talent. The result: teaching positions in universities and colleges remain vacant for years. We have no dearth of faculty, because we have created a conducive working ambiance in our institutions and we are able to attract qualified and committed people to work.