H. Vinod Bhat, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University, said that it was essential give importance to the development of villages in the country.

H. Vinod Bhat, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University, said on Wednesday that it was essential give importance to the development of villages in the country.

He was presiding over a function to release the volume, “Rural transformation and developmental perspectives: Managerial challenges”, organised by the Manipal Institute of Management in Manipal. The edited volume is based on proceedings of a national conference on the same theme organised by the institute in January.

Prof. Bhat said that with cities exploding with population and struggling to provide amenities, the development of villages had become essential.

It was necessary to provide basic facilities such as good schools, safe drinking water, proper sewage system and healthcare centres in villages. This would stop migration of people to urban areas.

Rapid urbanisation was taking place in the world. In 1900, about 13 per cent of global population was living in urban areas, but this had now increased to nearly 50 per cent. This was having an impact on the cities, which were struggling to provide facilities to the people. China grew faster in the last couple of decades and had massive infrastructure development. But now the Chinese economy was showing signs of a slowdown. India should learn from the mistakes of China, he said.

The Manipal University started its own press for publishing academic works. This press had published eight books so far. Another 40 books were in the pipeline, Prof. Bhat said.

‘Give Bharat Ratna’

Releasing the volume, M.V. Kamath, veteran journalist and honorary director of Manipal Institute of Communication, said Verghese Kurien, who was responsible for the “White Revolution” should be given “Bharat Ratna”.

The author of the biography, “From Anand: The story of Verghese Kurien”, Mr. Kamath said that before Kurien came on the scene, the country used to depend on western countries for milk products. But with single-minded determination, Kurien changed the scene. India was not only self-sufficient in milk production, but also exported it.

Gandhiji wanted rural development for its own sake. But the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had other ideas. The consequences of Nehruvian model of development were there for all to see, Mr. Kamath said.

Director of the institute P.R. Chadaga was present.