Students should cultivate service-mindedness, Union Minister for Information Technology and Communications A. Raja said while laying the foundation for the new building of the Bharathiar University of Arts and Science College at Gudalur on Saturday.

While acquiring knowledge through classrooms and textbooks is of considerable importance nurturing thoughts relating to society is of equal importance.

Literacy

Stating that the level of literacy has risen considerably over the last 50 years, Mr. Raja said that information technology has attained great heights and communication has become very fast.

The target of 60 million cell phones which was earlier expected to be achieved only by 2012 will be passed shortly.

The Khadi Board Minister, K. Ramachandran, said that a sum of Rs. 1.50 crore has been set aside for the college building.

Urging Mr. Raja, who represents the Nilgiris Parliamentary constituency, to give more importance to development of education in the three segments of the constituency which were on the hills, he emphasised the need to establish an Arts and Science College in Coonoor.

He pointed out that the number of students opting for higher education in the Nilgiris was significant.

Strength

He added that efforts would be made to increase the strength of the college in Gudalur from the present 1,627 to 3,000.

New courses

The Vice-Chancellor, Bharathiar University, C. Swaminathan, who presided said that new courses were in the process of being introduced in the college.

The Nilgiris Collector, Archana Patnaik, exhorted the students to study well and come up in life.

The Principal of the College, Asokan, welcomed the gathering.

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