ANDHRA PRADESH

Work for development of villages, students told

Honoured:Nalanda University Chancellor Vijay Panduranga Bhatkar along with AUVice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao arriving at the convocation venue on Saturday.K.R. DEEPAK

Honoured:Nalanda University Chancellor Vijay Panduranga Bhatkar along with AUVice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao arriving at the convocation venue on Saturday.K.R. DEEPAK  

In India there are about 6.4 lakh villages and it is our prime responsibility to develop them. The onus is on the students of universities and colleges to design innovative ideas to develop villages for which networking plays a key role. This was the opinion of Vijay Panduranga Bhatkar, Chancellor of Nalanda University. He was delivering the convocation address at the combined 83rd and 84th convocation of Andhra University held here on Saturday.

Dr. Vijay Bhatkar, who led a team to build the country’s first super computer ‘Param’ about three decades ago, was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by the university.

Speaking on the development of villages, he said the government had launched the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) under the Ministry of HRD and was aiming at linking academic institutions like the IITs and the NITs.

The Andhra University should also pitch in with its valuable contribution, he added. Dr. Vijay Bhatkar was optimistic that by 2040, India would go ahead of the USA in GDP and surge ahead of China in the purchase power.

“Having a huge population of 135 crore is a challenge, as it means that are to be fed. But on the other hand it is a big advantage in the form of demographic dividend,” he said.

Doling out statistics, he said, “About 50% of our population is below 25 years and 65% below 35. Our average age would be 29 years by 2020, as against 37 years of China and 48 years of Japan. India is rising as the young nation of the 21st century and we have to capitalise on this advantage.”

Infrastructure

He said India today had the largest educational infrastructure next only to China and the USA with over 900 universities, 40,000 colleges and 13 lakh schools, spread across the country.

“There are about 10,000 professional colleges churning out close to 15 lakh engineering students and we are on the right track,” he said.

Talking about AU, Dr. Vijay Bhatkar said the university was regarded as one of the centres of learning and it should be proud that the DST (Department of Science and Technology) had recognised it as one of the 14 top performing institutions in India.

Earlier, AU Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao in his report said the university was ranked 69 by NIRF and a number of projects, including the Siemens Centre of Excellence, were being established at a cost of Rs. 350 crore.

While K. John was awarded the best researcher in the arts, commerce and law, G. Sudhakar was awarded the best researcher of science and technology, V. Sridevi for engineering and K. Eswar Kumar for pharmaceutical sciences.

While about 856 researchers received their Ph.Ds, 50 M.Phil and 584 awards were given to UG and PG students.

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