‘Universities impoverished by separating medicine, engineering from sciences'

Promoting inter-disciplinary studies by breaking disciplinary barriers and breaching the concrete walls that separate departments and subjects was a major challenge before the universities, said P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Prof. Balaram, who was to address the 21st convocation of Kuvempu University on Jnana Sahyadri campus here on Wednesday, could not attend the event. His address was read out by Registrar Rame Gowda.

Inter-disciplinary skills are essential for solving all the major scientific and technological issues that were confronting the present times. Discoveries that could usher major transformation in the domains of agriculture, pharmacy, and biomedical science were possible with inter-disciplinary approach.

Universities had been impoverished by separating engineering and medicine from the sciences, social sciences and humanities, he said.

Prof. Balaram said there was a need to bring proper regulations to ensure quality in the institutes of higher learning.

The proposal by National knowledge Commission to create an independent regulatory authority for higher education which would integrate the various bodies that exist needed to be considered seriously.

There was a need to usher in positive changes in the domain of higher education. “The global competition and the internal pressure for expansion of our university system must be met,” he said.

Prof. Balaram regretted on the decline in scholarship and intellectual ambience of universities in the last few decades.

The courses in humanities and basic sciences were loosing sheen.

Even it had become a great challenge to attract the best of talents to the profession of teaching, he said.

The beneficiaries of higher learning should become agents of change and progress.

He underscored the need to restructure the institutes of higher learning and ensure transparency in their functioning.

A total number of 24,468 students graduated at the programme.

Vice-Chancellor S.A. Bari, Registrar Krishnappa and members of the Syndicate

and the Academic Council were present.