Just four days before his death, Srikantadatta Wadiyar had approved the blueprint for a private university on Palace Grounds in Bangalore.The scion of the Mysore royal family had dreamed of setting up a world-class university and was about to approach the government with his proposals.
The university was to concentrate on management, hospitality and tourism. After an hour-long discussion with his academic advisor on Saturday, Wadiyar had approved the draft. His death on Saturday comes as a major setback.
Prof Chambi Puranik, academic advisor to the Mysore Maharaja Institute of Higher Education, told Express, “It was his biggest dream. We used to discuss it at least once a week. Last month, he asked me to prepare a draft, and approved it on December 7.”
As owner of heritage hotels, tourism and hospitality were his favourite subjects. He had inspected an enclave on Palace Grounds to mark out land for the university.
Wadiyar had been working on the idea of a university for four years. In 2010, speaking to this reporter, he had shared his dream, but had requested no mention in the press, saying it was too early to write about it. “He wanted to set it up without the interference of the bureaucracy,” Puranik said.
The next step was to look for resources. “We had approached Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj, and he had said he would definitely help,” remembered Puranik.