We are not caring for our universities: Governor
Governor H.R. Bhardwaj having a word with FKCCI president K. Shiva Shanmugam at a conference in Bangalore on Friday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy | The Hindu

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, who is also the Chancellor of Universities, expressed discontent about the depleting interest in education in the country.

Inaugurating a conference for postgraduate (PG) students on “Capacity building for trade, industry and service” organised by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Universities of Bangalore, Mysore and Tumkur in Bangalore on Friday, the Governor said, “We are not caring for our universities.”

Blaming the Union and State governments, Mr. Bhardwaj said, “Our universities are working with 45 per cent faculty. Education should get massive contribution from the Union and State governments. But it has been totally neglected in the last three to four years.”

Stressing on the need to upgrade the education system in the country, the Governor said, “Human resource is a great treasure. Of what use is human resource that is ill-equipped with no knowledge? Universities are important because there is lots of space and greenery. So facilities such as gyms should be provided.” He added: “We need at least eight modern or upgraded universities,” suggesting that this could be achieved either by upgrading existing ones or allowing private universities to be established. “There is a good case to promote education which can compete with the rest of the world. If universities are good here, we can keep our students within India,” he said, while admitting that his grandchildren were studying abroad.

Mr. Bhardwaj also exhorted entrepreneurs to invest in education, may be by creating chairs and endowments in universities. This trend has not caught up in India, while entrepreneurs abroad have been doing it for years, he said.

Finishing School

K Shiva Shanmugam, FKCCI president, said the federation was planning to start a “Finishing school” the next academic year for PG students in the State aspiring to be entrepreneurs. Free training will be imparted on 150 students identified by their respective universities/colleges on a pilot basis, he explained.

Bangalore University Acting Vice-Chancellor N Rangaswamy spoke about the need to grab opportunities in the trade and service sectors, while Tumkur University Vice-Chancellor S.C. Sharma emphasised the need for industry-university interactions and entrepreneurship development cells in each university.

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