University College building may get heritage tag

Awaiting a Facelift: The University College building in Mangalore. — Photo : R. Eswarraj  

Staff Correspondent

Centre examining a proposal in this regard, says Veerappa Moily

MANGALORE: Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily said on Tuesday that the Centre was examining a proposal to declare the old red building of the University College here as a heritage structure and restore it at an estimated cost of Rs. 5 crore.

He was speaking after inaugurating the first phase of a building built by the Alumni Association of the University College, run by Mangalore University, on the premises of the college at Hampankatta here.

Mr. Moily said that a proposal to restore the old building of the college was in the final stages. It included plans to restore “Ravindra Bhawan”, a hall named after Ravindranath Tagore who visited the college in 1924.

The building, which was inaugurated on Tuesday, has been named after P. Dayananda Pai and P. Sathish Pai, builders, who have donated Rs. 1.10 crore for its construction. The first phase has been completed at a cost of Rs. 1.80 crore.

Mr. Moily said that Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) had agreed to donate Rs. 50 lakh to construct an auditorium in the building inaugurated by him. It would be built in the second phase of the project.

The Minister said that there was a proposal before the University Grants Commission to declare five colleges in Dakshina Kannada as centres of excellence. They are St. Aloysius College, St. Ann’s College of Education, School of Social Work of Roshni Nilaya, University College, and Shri Dharmasthala Manujanatheswara College at Ujire.

Mr. Moily urged the universities to set up research wings on their campuses to keep a watch on the developments taking place in various sectors across the world. The research wings could make recommendations to the universities on the modifications they needed to make in their syllabi. The universities should continue to revise their syllabi to keep pace with the latest developments. Stressing the need for freedom of universities, the Minister said that they should remain as autonomous bodies and free from red tape and bureaucratic hold.

Mr. Dayananda Pai, who is an old student of the University College and member of the Syndicate of the university, said that he and his brother were ready to adopt the college to provide infrastructure. Mr. Pai said that they would contribute more funds to complete the second and third phases of the building.

K.M. Kaveriappa, Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University, said that the University College, erstwhile Government Degree College, was 140 years old. The university would offer a course in MBA in International Business in the building inaugurated on Monday in a few days. Responding to the statement of Mr. Pai that they were ready to adopt the college, Mr. Kaveriappa said: “We will respond positively to it.”

J. Krishna Palemar, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada, N. Yogish Bhat and U.T. Khader, MLAs, D.K. Chowta, president of the association, and K. Sundar Naik, secretary, spoke.