Changes afoot for Central College departments

Five of them to be modernised to celebrate 100 years

Behind the dilapidated buildings located on the Central College premises and the worn-out laboratories lies a legacy that is not known to many. It is not just University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) that has completed its centenary year. As many as five other departments in Bengaluru Central University are over a century old.

The alumni of these departments are coming together to give back to the university and want to help these departments become more oriented to the demands of the industry. Sixty-seven-year-old C. Ravikumar, a retired professional and an alumnus of the Department of Botany, said that the alumni has launched the Central College Botany Department Alumni Trust.

For several months now, they have been working in its affiliated colleges and organising lecturers.

Mr. Ravikumar studied on the campus between 1969 and 1974 and also taught at the department as a professor for two years.

“Many of us have an emotional attachment with the university. We owe our success to the department. But now, the context has changed and we want to support the growth of the department,” he said.

S. Japhet, Vice-Chancellor of Bengaluru Central University, said that they want to reinvent and reclaim the legacy of these departments.

“We want to set up new programmes and establish the best laboratories, give a facelift to the buildings and open incubation centres where there will be cutting-edge research conducted by students in association with members of the industry,” he said.

On Thursday, the university will be launching the Department of Life Sciences which will offer two postgraduate courses: M.Sc. in Plant Sciences and M.Sc. in Animal Sciences. “We want all our courses to be multidisciplinary. There is a lot of scope for these courses but basic sciences need an overhaul,” he said,

Alumni members recollect their memories with the department with pride.

N.S. Rangaswamy, 87, one of the seniormost alumni of the Department of Botany, studied in the department between 1951 and 1955. He said that there were eight students in the department in his B.Sc. Honours programme.

“I am indebted to my teachers who had such a humanitarian approach. I did not have money even for shoes and used to walk barefoot. Three lecturers pooled in resources and made sure I had everything I needed to pursue my Phd. in. Delhi and even gave me shoes and clothes.”

Documenting the heritage

To document the rich heritage and the legacy of its departments, the Bengaluru Central University (BCU) has roped in historians and archaeologists.

Prof. Japhet said that they want to document the trajectory of Central College. The college which was first started as a high school has been part of four universities since its inception.

“We want to get a better understanding about the heritage buildings on our campus and learn more about the faculty members who have made immense contributions to this university.” Prof. Japhet said, “In fact, we have been told that our Botany Department was the second department in India. We want to verify this.”

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 8:50:07 AM |

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