Outgoing VC Rangappa calls for strengthening of academics, research in UoM

Government urged to fill vacant teaching posts in university

University of Mysore (UoM) Vice Chancellor K S Rangappa, who is demitting the office on Tuesday, said the varsity will become one of the top universities in the country if the academic and research activities are strengthened.

Addressing reporters here on Monday, Rangappa said, “With good research practices and quality education, the varsity can become number one in the country. There is a need to strengthen the research activities in basic science, social science, economic and management studies.

The outgoing vice chancellor said that there is a need to fix accountability in the functioning of the varsity and appointment of faculty members. He pointed out that there are only 128 permanent teachers for 74 departments and a majority of the faculty members are on the verge of retirement. It is necessary to fill the posts within a year.

Rangappa also sought reservation in the appointment process as every community has qualified people. Many foreign professors are keen to work with the varsity. “More than a dozen qualified professors have already approached me seeking an opportunity,” he added. 

Highlighting the importance of the state universities, Rangappa said, 80% of the nobel laureates were the products of these universities and they need encouragement to function in a more effective manner. UoM is the only university in the country which roped in more than 10 Nobel laureates to deliver lecture and it is a matter of pride, he said.

Undue interference

To a specific query, Rangappa said, Undue political and bureaucratic interference will hamper the growth of universities and UoM is no exception. “The varsity authorities are not able to take legal action against those involved in irregularities as politicians and bureaucrats come to their rescue,” he said.

On allegations of irregularities against him, Rangappa said, he has used his influence for the development of the university and worked as per the government and University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. “I have built the varsity from the funds obtained from the governments and the UGC and I am satisfied with my work,” he said, adding, a section of people targeted him to damage his reputation.

The VC said, he has changed the policies of pursuing PhD as per the UGC norms to eradicate plagiarism and to produce quality works. School of Architecture and Planning, a top notch institution in the country, was developed with the funds mobilised from philanthropists and donors, he said.

Answering to a query on whether he is inclined towrds joining politics, the VC said that a few people believe that he would join politics as he is a relative of H D Deve Gowda. “I am not interested in politics and not thought about it,” Rangappa clarified.

Chief scientific advisor to Chinese firm
Rangappa has been appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor for China-based Sinotar Pharmaceutical (Shenzhen) Company. Rangappa will serve the company from January 15, 2017 to February 14, 2020. A note from the company said, Rangappa’s extensive experience of more than three decades in the area of research in chemical biology will be utilised for the development of the company’s global research. He will be monitoring the drug discovery process with other leaders of the company. Rangappa has also been made ‘Lifelong Distinguished Professor’ by UGC.

Rangappa said, he had offers from Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, in Uttar Pradesh and from a private institution to serve as vice chancellor but he declined the offers. 

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