Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday emphasised the need to carry forward the legacy of great mathematicians such as Srinivasa Ramanujan, Aryabhata and Brahmagupta so as to encourage and nurture the glorious tradition of the country in mathematics.

Inaugurating the Ramanujan Centre for Higher Mathematics at the Alagappa University here, he said mathematics had been widely used in the study of Science and other disciplines.

The country was short of competent mathematicians and it was the responsibility of mathematical community to encourage and facilitate the study of mathematics as an academic discipline in the country, the Prime Minister said.

Paying tribute to Srinivasa Ramanujan, Dr. Singh said he was a legendary mathematician after whom the centre had been named. He was a great son of India and Tamil Nadu. He ranked among giants in the world of mathematics. In recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Central government had decided to celebrate Ramajuan's birthday as the National Mathematics Day every year and declared 2012 as the National Mathematical Year.

Recollecting the contributions made by R.M. Alagappa Chettiar, the Prime Minister said he was instrumental in the establishment of a number of educational institutions. The dream of Dr. Alagappa Chettiar to start a centre of mathematics had become a reality with the establishment of Centre for Mathematics named after Ramanujan today.

Congratulating the Alagappa University on receiving the prestigious “A” grade in the re-accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, Dr. Singh said that most of the alumni of the university had done well in their career and life and many of its faculty members had received national and international awards for teaching and research. It would do even better in the future.

Governor K. Rosaiah said it was hard work, brilliance and motivation that made Srinivas Ramanujam a great mathematician. The universities should instil in students a flair for research and innovation. Creating a platform for research would help them to carry on the legacy of invention left behind by the founding fathers of science.

S. Sudalaimuthu, Vice-Chancellor, said it had received Rs.18.23 crore from various agencies to carry out research work, besides individual initiatives. The launch of Ramanujan Centre for Higher Mathematics was a milestone and a boon to the students, the university and the region.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Minister for Higher Education P. Palaniappan, K. Kasturirangan, Member, Planning Commission, and Dr. Ved Prakash, Chairman, University Grants Commission, New Delhi, and K. Manimekalai, Registrar-In-Charge took part.