IISc head rues separation of teaching, research

IISc head rues separation of teaching, research

congratulations: Amrutha Venkatesh, topper in BSc, receiving her rank certificate from Governor and Chancellor H R Bhardwaj at the 45th convocation of the Bangalore University on Friday. Vice-chancellor Prof N Prabhu Dev is also seen. dh Photo

Delivering the 45th convocation address of Bangalore University here on Friday, he said India found itself in a curious situation, where there were a large number of national laboratories which were well staffed and funded, but with only research and no teaching. On the contrary, there were a large number of colleges and universities with considerable teaching but little research.

He mentioned that the imperatives of interdisciplinary research demanded a fresh approach to undergraduate education and broad-based programmes in which the barriers between science and engineering were breached, and would allow the nurturing of a new generation of students who were comfortable in multiple disciplines.

Speaking on the academic decline in universities across India, Balaram said it was not specific to an institution but a phenomenon that had permeated the entire university system in India. “The decline of intellectual discourse, the absence of a vibrant academic culture and the difficulties of attracting the best of faculty and students in our universities have been the subject of much discussion. Can anything be done?” he asked.

He also blamed the lack of emphasis on research in universities saying the fragmentation of centres of learning into specialised technical universities has hastened the decay. “In many states, there are medical, engineering and law universities leaving the original university to function with only the sciences and humanities as the area of study.
Autonomy of colleges with post graduate courses, with little or no research activity, ensures a complete separation of teaching and research,” he rued.

He called for the universities to come forward to enable change and define the reform process. He also called for re-assessment of the policy of starting small and specialised institutions, which by a regulatory sleight of hand, transformed themselves into deemed universities.

Vice Chancellor of BU, Dr Prabhu Dev spoke about the problems universities were facing in an attempt to impart a better quality of higher education. “Unfortunately, majority of those who pass out of our universities are nowhere near international standards. The issue of quality is not being addressed and the syllabi is not industry friendly,” he admitted.

He maintained that universities could not respond to the changing environment without the necessary degree of independence from external interference in respect of its internal organisation and governance.

As many as 24,774 candidates were awarded degree certificates at the convocation. A total of 143 gold medalists received cash certificates and doctorates were awarded to 180 students. Governor and Chancellor H R Bhardwaj presided over the function.


Amrutha Venkatesh“I had been studying well, but I did not expect such a rich haul. I am a professional Carnatic musician and I intend to pursue my music training seriously. I am also pursuing MSc in Mathematics through correspondence, but my primary focus would be on music.”

Amrutha Venkatesh
Nine medals, BSc (PCM) from MES College

“I expected one medal, but not seven of them! I am so happy that I cannot express what I feel. I did not study too much. Our lecturers had taught us the fundamentals very well and that enabled me to perform well in exams. Right now, I am working for a consultancy services company, but I would like to appear for the competitive exams next year.”

Harish N S
Seven medals, BE (Civil Engineering), UVCE

“I never had any expectation of winning a medal. Getting just a rank was shocking and I never imagined four medals. I am the first in the family to even study Masters and to win a medal is a great feeling. At present, I am working as a lecturer in Ammani College and in future I would like to study for a doctoral programme.”

Shalini N
Four medals, MA (Kannada), Maharani Lakshmi Ammani College

“I am really excited and happy. I wish to particularly thank my faculty and management for all their help. At present, I am a teacher at the National Centre for Excellence and I will continue teaching. Later I am planning to pursue a doctoral programme.”

Aradhana Kabi
Six medals, BEd, New Horizon College of Education

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