D.P. Agrawal delivered an address at the convocation of Rani Channamma University

Restrictions and visionless thoughts are posing challenges for the higher education sector, D.P. Agrawal, chairman, Union Public Services Commission, has said. He was here on Saturday to deliver an address at the convocation of Rani Channamma University.

Mr. Agrawal said universities should go beyond restrictions and become laboratories for experimenting new thoughts and processes.

He said if teaching and learning were restricted to a single discipline, it would be against the basic objectives of universities. Mr. Agarwal said teachers and students should be allowed to pursue new ideas and technologies.

Shortage of teachers

Referring to the shortage of quality teachers in higher education, he said there was need for over three lakh teachers in the field and in engineering alone over 1.5 lakh teachers were required. In the IITs, the shortage was around 34 per cent.

Mr. Agarwal said universities should strengthen its staff and teachers and also make students to develop leadership qualities and take decisions on their own.

He said as financial position decided the success of a university, it would be better if alumni associations were involved in getting resources.

Mr. Agarwal said although information technology had emerged as a tool to ensure transparency and curb possible corruption, it was creating a division between those with resources and those without.

RCU Vice-Chancellor B.R. Ananthan gave away degree certificates and gold medals to meritorious students. In all, 16,912 students got graduate degrees while 1,453 got postgraduate degrees and four got D.Lit.

While 19 students got gold medals in postgraduate course, 56 got gold medals for highest marks scored in various subjects.

Registrar Shanthinath Dibbad was present.

In the absence of the Governor, six eminent personalities were honoured with honorary doctoral degrees. Apart from Mr. Agrawal, veteran journalist Patil Puttappa, social worker Tejaswini Ananthkumar, freedom fighter Mahadevappa Pattan, academic V.T. Patil and former bureaucrat S.M. Jamdar were honoured with the doctoral degrees. Writer Baragur Ramachandrappa was conferred the honorary doctorate in absentia.

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