'Establish rural university on experimental basis'

Informal edn imparted in rural varsity can help educate rural, tribal communities of Karnataka, opines Prof Vivek Rai

Emphasising for the need to give a new dimension to the concept of education and development, litterateur Prof B A Vivek Rai batted for establishing a rural university on an experimental basis in Karnataka. He was delivering presidential address at the inauguration of the three-day Alva’s Vishwa Nudisiri Virasat which kick started at Vidyagiri in Moodbidri on Thursday evening.

In his elaborate presidential address that touched upon various contemporary issues bothering the State, the professor of Kannada language and folklore, said that informal system of education imparted in rural university can help  to educate and develop the rural and tribal communities of Karnataka. Referring to two such examples, where rural universities have been established in a town in Colombia and in Baroda district of Gujarath, he said that both the experiments have succeeded in strengthening life culture and tradition of rural communities.

“The concept of rural university functions beyond the traditional concept of education imparted in universities. Apart from imparting education in various phases, the rural university will also develop action plans for the development of the local communities. However, this development will be associated with factors like health, education, basic facilities and nutritious food. The community people will become sustainable by making use of available science and technologies,” he said.

Expressing concern over the implementation of proposed industrial projects and river diversion project  in Dakshina Kannada district, the litterateur opined that agricultural land should not be used for industrial purpose. Such projects should be immediately stopped and agriculturists should be given support price and suitable market for selling their produces. Traditional water bodies should be revieved and rejuvenated, rather than diverting rivers in the coastal region, he advised.

Classical language centre

He regretted that despite Kannada attaining classical language status, it has not enjoyed the benefits of the status. “Both the Central and State governments have completely neglected Kannada unlike Tamil Nadu, where a Tamil Classical Language Centre has been established for studying the language. A centre has to be established in Karnataka on the similar lines of Tamil Nadu where work on translating ancient languages, creation of multi-language dictionaries etc has to be initiated,” he noted.

Prof Vivek Rai also demanded the government to promote handicraft products by making it mandatory for private and government organisations to purchase the products produced by self-help groups. A Kannada Study Centre has to be established in Delhi to fight to avail the benefits for Kannadigas from the Central government. Work on giving a facelift to Kannada schools should be taken up, by providing physical infrastructure, educational facilities and appointment of full-time teachers.

The number of missing girls and increased communal violence are the issues to be addressed. The government has to take measures to protect women and strict action has to be taken against those causing communal disharmony, he urged.

Earlier, inaugurating the programme, Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade said that Alva’s Nudisiri has helped Tuluvas to come out of the stereotype against them that they neglect Kannada language. The government should give importance to art and cultural activities in schools and colleges. Art alone can bind people, he said.

In his introductory remarks, Alva’s Education Foundation Chairman Dr Mohan Alva said that he was not organising the programme to compete against anybody. 

“I am doing this for a good cause. Please do not try to malign the intention of the programme,” he requested. His statement has come up in the backdrop of another set of litterateurs organising a prallel literary meet in Mangalore, alleging that Alva’s Nudisiri did not give space for free flow of thoughts.

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