A report published in these columns on Saturday had pointed out that a signboard on Bangalore University’s Jnanabharathi campus refers to the Vice-Chancellor as ‘kulapati’ while the word translates to Governor in English. But, varsity authorities have said the signboard ‘Kulapathigala Nivasa’ is the correct translation of ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Residence’.
The official Kannada usage of the designation of ‘Vice-Chancellor’ is ‘kulapati’. Prior to 1986, Vice-Chancellor was called ‘upa kulapati’ in Kannada. An amendment to the Karnataka State Universities Act 1976 was made in 1986 to re-designate some of the officials of the varsity, including the Registrar (Evaluation), which was earlier called Controller of Examinations. Since then, the designation ‘chancellor’ (Governor of Karnataka) is used in Kannada as ‘kuladhipati’ and ‘vice-chancellor’ is called ‘kulapati’, the University Registrar said in a statement here.
Lexicographer G. Venkatasubbaiah said a change in interpretation of the term had been accepted as it was widely agreed that the Vice-Chancellor was, in fact, the chief officer of the university. “That is why they decided to call the chancellor ‘kuladipati’ and the Vice-Chancellor ‘kulapati’. As it has been accepted by all universities, publishers of dictionaries will have to consider this while reprinting,” he said.
Meanwhile BU Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda said the signboards had been installed long ago. “The boards were there long before I took over as VC. But the Kannada version of the Karnataka State Universities Act refers to the Vice-Chancellor as ‘kulapati’ and to the chancellor as ‘kuladipati’ ,” he said.
However, S.V. Satish Chandran, a reader, pointed out that there was still a minor mistake in the signboard. “Actually if you observe carefully, there is a minor mistake in the signboard, an apostrophe is missing. It should have been Vice-Chancellor’s Residence and not Vice-Chancellors Residence,” said Mr. Chandran, a resident of Nagarbhavi, in an e-mail.