Nostalgia grips MAHE silver jubilee celebrations

The inauguration of the silver jubilee celebrations of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) on Friday, at the Fortune Inn Valley View, was a momentous occasion for the deemed-to-be University.

With all the previous vice chancellors and the present one sharing a stage to start the celebrations, it was nothing short of a historic occasion for the varsity. The presence of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy as the chief guest was the cherry on the cake. Also present was Manipal Education and Medical Group (Bengaluru) chairman Dr Ranjan Pai.

A short, impressive programme gave the celebrations a good start. Every speaker recalled how Dr TMA Pai toiled to start India's best private university. They also recognized the tremendous efforts put in by Dr Ramdas M Pai, the present chancellor in bringing it to where it now is. The release of the silver jubilee logo was also unique as Narayana Murthy pressed a button and the logo showed up on a huge LED screen on the stage.

Six decades

Pro chancellor Dr H S Ballal while welcoming the gathering said that his association with the institution has been for more than four decades. "As an institution of higher education, we have been in existence for more than six decades and as a university, it is 25 years now," he said. Speaking on behalf of all the vice chancellors, past and present, Dr Valiathan spoke of the extraordinary growth of the university. He said it was because of the dedicated and continued leadership provided by two great minds, the father and son duo. He expressed happiness that two generations have contributed to the growth of this great institution and was also glad that the third generation in Dr Ranjan Pai promises to take the institution to greater heights.

Vice chancellor Dr H Vinod Bhat gave a snapshot of the university from the time it started with five institutions in Manipal and Mangalore with a little over 5500 students to its current presence in three countries and consisting about 32,000 students. He spoke about research, some of the existing programmes and future plans. He took pride in saying, "Ours is the highest ranked private university in the country according to World QS Rankings." He told that 80 new centres were set up in 30 months. "I believe our past performance and future potential will help us get the status of "Institution of Eminence" for which we have applied to the Government of India," he said. On future campuses, he said there were plans to start universities in Bengaluru, Jamshedpur and Sri Lanka.

There was an interaction with Narayana Murthy at the end of the programme. It was moderated by Dr Gayathri Prabhu, associate professor, MCPH.

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