The platinum jubilee of Academy of General Education (AGE) will be celebrated at Fortune Inn Valley View in Manipal on January 4 at 10 am. Governor of Nagaland P B Acharya, who is also a student of the first batch of MGM College, Udupi, will inaugurate the celebrations.
Briefing reporters here, AGE president and MAHE Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal said that a ten-minute video on AGE produced by the School of Communication, Manipal, will be screened and senior officials of AGE would be felicitated. "AGE is the mother of all educational institutions founded by Dr TMA Pai," he said.
Giving information about some of the major projects proposed during the year, Dr Ballal said that a new block of Madhava Krupa School for pre-primary and primary classes is nearing completion. It will have 38 classrooms with a capacity for 40 students each, two Montessori rooms each with a capacity for 40 students, five laboratories, a multi-purpose hall and so on. It will be ready by April 2018 and is being built at a cost of Rs 31 crore. The strength of students is expected to go up to 5,000 from the present over-2,000 students.
"A convention centre at Udupi, similar to the one in Mangaluru, is also planned at a cost of about Rs 20-25 crores. It will be jointly done by AGE, Dr TMA Pai Foundation and MAHE. Chairman of the Foundation, Mohandas Pai will personally contribute Rs 2 crore," Dr Ballal said and added that a suitable area behind MGM College has been identified and surveyed. It will have a central convention hall to accommodate 1,200 people.
Vice Chancellor Dr H Vinod Bhat said that MAHE will be celebrating its silver jubilee this year. To commemorate this landmark event, a Centre for Educational Research will be launched to introduce newer methods of teaching and create capacities that promote the changing needs of the education system among the institutes affiliated to Academy of General Education.
Dr T M A Pai Foundation Secretary Ashok Pai said that the Foundation started in 1981 as an off-shoot of AGE and it will spend Rs 5 crores on the institutions run by AGE and Foundation. This includes staff quarters and improvement of MGM ground. "We are planning to create 15 facilities like basketball court etc," he said.
AGE was started by Dr T M A Pai primarily to facilitate opening of educational institutions in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district. After completing his MBBS course in 1925 and settling down in Udupi, he was keen to change the lives of the people in this region and do something good for the society in general," he said. Topmost on Dr Pai's mind at that time was to eliminate illiteracy, provide better healthcare and remove poverty. All that was possible only if the youth of the region were educated. AGE helped in the establishment of high schools in Perdur, Parkala, Alevoor, Kadiyali and Agumbe. He later started six colleges of arts, science and commerce viz. MGM College, Udupi (1949), Sri Bhuvanendra College, Karkala (1960), Bhandarkars' Art and Science College, Kundapura (1963), Vijaya College, Mulki (1963), Sri Jagadguru Chandrashekhar Bharathi Memorial College, Sringeri (1965) and Sri Mahaveera College, Moodbidri (1965). Each of these colleges has a Pre-University College attached to it.
Dr Pai also started Kasturba Medical College at Manipal (1953), India's first non-missionary, self-financing, private medical college, and three other professional colleges under AGE -- Manipal Institute of Technology (1957), Manipal College of Dental Science (1965) and Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (1965). By starting all these professional colleges, he laid the foundation for a deemed to be university at Manipal in 1993.