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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shivaji University gets Rs50 crore for golden jubilee projects

From - DNA

The Maharashtra government has sanctioned Rs50 crore to Kolhapur’s Shivaji University in its golden jubilee year to embark on projects related to the school of rural development, biotech research institute, advanced centre for information technology and ayouth development centre among others.

The SU is also collecting golden jubilee funds from the staff, faculty, students, alumni and private organisations to create a corpus which will not be utilised for the golden jubilee function but instead for special projects for the development of the students during the year.

The university is entering into the golden jubilee year today and the event will be commemorated with a function to be attended by the governor and chancellor K Sankaranarayanan and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan among others.

This university was established in 1962 with the objectives of catering the regional needs of South Maharashtra and providing education to rural.

“What started with 34 affiliated colleges, 14,000 students and five postgraduate (PG) departments now has spread to 271 colleges with two lakh students and 39 postgraduate departments,” the vice chancellor (VC), NJ Pawar, told DNA.

In the initial 10 years, the major achievement was of providing higher education to poor and downtrodden besides the extension, the constructions of the buildings. The ‘Earn Learn’ scheme was launched, which offered earning opportunities on the campus for the needy students.

Increasing number of colleges and the PG departments marked the second phase. “Due to the vision and capabilities of the past VCs, the varsity could tackle many difficulties. The first VC Appasaheb Pawar contribution is immense, “ Pawar said.

After initial 25 years, importance was given to research along with the education.

While, after 1990’s there was a shift towards the profession courses and departments like microbiology, law, pharmacy, architecture, commerce and management and foreign languages.

“In the past 15 years, we have seen the growth in IT, biotechnology, geo technology and now we are leaping towards nano technology,” he said.

The SU has set up a distance education centre having enrollment of 50,000 students that will offer bachelor and master courses. The MoUs have been signed with various national and international institutes.

Now there are challenges of the globalisation which teachers, student and parents have to realise. “We have to think for the development of rural people. We have to start courses even for the jaggery development and researching on making bread from jowar, alongside the centre for nano technology” he said.

Pawar said inputs of the social science in the professional courses are immensely important as “we do not want to create machines.” The shortage of funds is the major issue facing the higher education in India where 90% students study in the government-run varsities, which cater to the common man. He also said that industries should come forward to support higher education.

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