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Swaminathan for promoting seawater farming technique

Special Correspondent
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Over 1.14 lakh get degrees at the 80th convocation of Annamalai University

Moment to cherish:Governor K. Rosaiah presenting a degree certificate to a student at the annual convocation of Annamalai University at Chidamabaram on Thursday. Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, Pro-ChancellorM.A.M. Ramaswamy and Vice-Chancellor M. Ramanathan, are in the picture.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
Moment to cherish:Governor K. Rosaiah presenting a degree certificate to a student at the annual convocation of Annamalai University at Chidamabaram on Thursday. Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, Pro-ChancellorM.A.M. Ramaswamy and Vice-Chancellor M. Ramanathan, are in the picture.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

On the occasion of the 80th annual convocation of Annamalai University on Thursday, M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, asked the university to promote seawater farming.

Delivering the convocation address, Mr. Swaminathan said the founders of Annamalai University had established the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology at Parangipettai with great vision. Its role was quite important at a time when humanity was facing the travails of climate change, global warming and marine pollution.

Mr. Swaminathan noted that the mangroves spread over the places of Parangipettai and Pichavaram acted as a speed-breaker when the December 2004 tsunami struck Cuddalore.

He underscored the point that as sea constituted 97 per cent of water on the globe and as such the university could promote the concept of “seawater farming.”

Mr. Swaminathan further stated that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had conceptualised the Vision-2023 programme to usher Tamil Nadu into a poverty-free and prosperous State. The youth should actively participate in the implementation of the programme that vowed to preserve ecology and heritage. The Sangam literature had categorised the land mass as Kurinji, Mullai, Marudham, Neithal and Paalai and these geographical markers ought to be preserved and improved upon.

Mr. Swaminathan termed agriculture and nutrition as two powerful tools to combat poverty and malnutrition. The technological advancements could be leveraged to improve farm production and productivity and by raising bio-fortified crops (enriched with micronutrients) the problem of malnutrition could be tackled. In this context he emphasised the need for launching a widespread nutrition literacy programme.

Mr. Swaminathan also opined that the university could initiate the “University Social Responsibility (USR) programme” on the lines of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to actively involve the faculty and students in the WAR for Water (Winning, Augmenting and Renovation), to provide technical support to the Rural and Urban Health Mission and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme, to set up computer-aided Village Knowledge Centres and to remove malnutrition through the National Horticulture Mission.

Governor K. Rosaiah in his capacity as Chancellor awarded degrees to the candidates who successfully completed various programmes during the academic year 2012-2013.

A total number of 1,14,140 students, including 11,163 on campus and 1,02,977 distance education programmes, have passed out.

Of them 820 received the degrees in person, including 350 Ph. Ds, 20 M. Phils, 20 gold medals and 140 cash prizes under various endowments.

The Governor later administered oath to the candidates in the presence of Founder Pro-Chancellor of Annamalai University M.A.M. Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor M. Ramanathan, District Collector Rajendra Ratnoo and Registrar R. Meenakshisundaram.

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