On a high-growth trajectory

`We are ready to take off as we have survived the problems of a budding university.'

`We are ready to take off as we have survived the problems of a budding university.'  


Kannur University has gone a long way in terms of multi-dimensional expansion during the last 10 years, says its Vice-Chancellor P. Chandramohan.

The Kannur University is moving in the right direction despite various obstacles, and its achievements over the last 10 years give the lie to the argument that the institution is lagging behind in infrastructure and academic facilities, says Vice-Chancellor P. Chandramohan."We have to assess how the university began as an institution, and what it has achieved since then,'' Dr. Chandramohan said, while talking to The Hindu-Educationplus. Dwelling on the growth of the youngest university in the State, he said its development over the last 10 years since its inception was enough to show that the university was on the right path. For a university which started with the departments of English Literature and Anthropology and 23 affiliated colleges in Kannur and Kasaragod and Mananthavady taluk of Wayanad, its present development was significant. The Vice-Chancellor said the university now had 20 academic departments, 30 courses, including the 10 started over the last one year, six community colleges, three teacher education centres, eight information technology education centres and over 90 affiliated colleges. The university also had a strong distance education department. It had overseas centres in Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, he added."We are ready to take off as we have survived the problems of a budding university,'' Dr. Chandramohan said in an optimistic tone. The university had awarded Ph.D.'s to eight scholars and eight more theses were under evaluation. It had 141 recognised guides, over 507 research scholars and 27 research centres. The university had also entered into student and faculty exchange programmes with two universities in Germany. The first batch of students would leave for Germany in February. He said the university had signed memorandums of understanding with a university each in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Tansania. Spelling out what the university was going to do in the immediate future, Dr. Chandramohan said efforts were under way to start seven courses in the next academic year. These were wood science and technology, mass communication and journalism, environmental science, molecular biology, atmospheric science, history, heritage studies and bio- informatics.Referring to infrastructure shortcomings, he said, "Since the first priority of a budding university is infrastructure, full utilisation of the land made available to it is over.''The multi-campus university now had two properly developed campuses at Mangattuparamba and Palayad. The Payyannur campus being developed as the science campus would be completed in January. The Physics, Chemistry and Geography departments would be housed on the new campus. The Kasaragod and Mananthavady campuses had been started in a small way with one teacher education centre each. At Neeleswaram in Kasaragod, a campus would be developed on the model of the Palayad campus on 8 hectares of land and work would start in a year to set up separate campuses in Kanhangad and Mananthavady. Special campuses for legal studies and paramedical studies would be started as soon as land was made available.He cited the introduction of the credit and semester system in postgraduate departments and starting of add-on soft skill courses in affiliated colleges as other achievements. The university had decided to introduce grading system in 2007. The Vice-Chancellor acknowledged that the university had financial constraints. In the Ninth Plan period when the university started, it was allocated Rs. 15.91 crore. The university started six departments during the period. The allocation was Rs. 32.88 crore in the Tenth Plan and the university started 14 new departments. "We have asked for an allocation of Rs. 119 crore in the 11th Plan, including Rs. 109 crore as State's budgetary allocation and Rs. 10 crore from the University Grants Commission,'' he disclosed.

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