Varsities told to become intellectual hubs

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India Justice, M N Venkatachalaiah, on Saturday, called upon universities to become intellectual powerhouses providing scientific, intellectual and technological backup for industrial and economic growth.

Delivering the first convocation address at the Rani Channamma University, Belagavi (RCUB) here, Justice Venkatachalaiah opined that India required 750 more new universities to get population in the age group of 18-24 into universities.

The government, he said, must spend one per cent of the gross domestic product for research and development and promotion of science annually and that private sector must equally spend one per cent of GDP on R&D.

“Science, particularly mathematics, is a young man’s game. Breakthroughs in science have come from young scientists. Today, bright young people are not attracted to basic sciences and academics but are drawn away into industry and professions. Academic rigour and excellence need to be nurtured by varsities,” he added.

Justice Venkatachalaiah, Prof S Bisalaiah, Dr Prabhakar Kore, Siddhram Swami, Prof M I Savadatti, Prof G Venkatsubbaiah, Veeranna Mattikatti, Siddangouda Patil and Dr Sarjoo Katkar were conferred honorary doctorates on the occasion.

Gold medals and cash prizes were presented to 20 postgraduate and five graduates. Vice Chancellor B R Ananthan presented the degrees.

Prof Isher Judge Ahluwalia and Dr K Kasturiranjan were presented honorary doctorates in absentia. Kamalabai Patil accepted the honorary doctorate given posthumously to B M Patil.

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