MYSURU: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called for the transformation of higher education with innovative changes on several fronts, and focused on the need to encourage multi-disciplinary research in universities and other institutions.
Inaugurating the year-long centenary celebrations of Mysore University, founded by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and his Diwan Visvesvaraya in 1918, the President said that though India’s higher education was the second largest in the world, the enrolment rate at 20 per cent was not enough to improve the prospects of the youth.
Paying rich tribute to the university, he named the stalwarts who shaped its destiny. Observing that many bright scholars go abroad for higher studies for want of good quality institutions in the country, he regretted that there were only a handful of higher education institutions possessing the quality to produce graduates for the global market.
He said Indian institutions were absent from the top 200 positions in world university rankings. He added India with 1.25 billion people needed a world-class educational system.
He stressed that teaching should be made more attractive as a career option for bright students, and favoured hiring of teachers from abroad to inject new thinking and diversity through exchange programmes, seminars, workshops and joint research and project work with academic and industry partners. Referring to the neglect of research in universities, he said this must be reversed.
Rangappa For National Varsity Status: V-C K S Rangappa said the varsity plans to develop the campus on the lines of IITs to create a better learning environment.
He sought national university status for the varsity considering that it is the first University in the state and the sixth oldest in the country.
The university with 54 postgraduate departments, two postgraduate centres and its composite colleges has about 85,000 students. Rangappa said the university has focused on research and academic activities and thanked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for the continued support.
The inauguration of centenary celebrations, which was scheduled to begin at 3 pm, was delayed by 50 minutes. The organisers chose to run video clippings of the launch of the centenary logo apart from throwing light on the history of the university to pass time.
The venue was closed at 3.10 pm soon after all the seats in the 10,000
seat capacity amphitheatre were filled. More than 300 visitors armed with invitations who were waiting outside raised slogans against the vice-chancellor.
Invitation Comes Handy
The audience were seen using invitation cards to beat the heat in the amphitheatre. About 90 per cent of the audience had occupied the seats before 2.30 pm.