Kuvempu varsity to improve infrastructure

SHIMOGA, FEB. 26. The Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University, K. Chidananda Gowda, said here on Thursday that the main thrust of the yearlong programme launched by the university to celebrate the birth centenary of the renowned author, Kuvempu, was to improve infrastructure, impart quality education, and introduce new courses.

He told presspersons that the improvement of infrastructure at Jnana Sahyadri — the university campus at Shankarghatta — the constituent colleges in Shimoga and Davangere, and the Postgraduate Centre at Davangere, would include construction of buildings and extension of other facilities.

Work had begun on developing the Kuvempu Bio-park, a bio-petroleum park, and an aromatic park on 300 acres of forest land adjacent to the main campus.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university had requested the State Government to sanction one Kuvempu model school on the varsity campus.

The university had taken steps to get feedback from the four district headquarters in its jurisdiction about the programmes being implemented by it to mark the birth centenary of Kuvempu.

Prof. Gowda said Kuvempu University was the first conventional varsity in the State to introduce the semester system at the undergraduate level.

A survey conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the semester system at the undergraduate level had showed that it had substantially improved the quality of education, he added.

The Registrar (Evaluation), Manjunath Naik, said that barring the commerce course, the introduction of the semester scheme had led to an improvement in the pass percentage.

The pass percentage of BA students in the annual examination held in April/May 2003, which was 31.57 per cent, had increased to 43.96 per cent in the examination held under the semester scheme in November 2003.

Mr. Naik admitted that though students had initially resented the semester system, they had reconciled themselves to it after their doubts about internal assessment and grant of special leave had been cleared.

Teachers were taken into confidence before introducing the semester system at the undergraduate level, he said.

The university had brought out "Pariksha Kaipidi", a manual on examinations, he said and added that Kuvempu University was the first in the State to have brought out such a manual.

The Vice-Chancellor said a building to house the library and an indoor stadium were coming up at Sahyadri College, one of the constituent colleges of the university in Shimoga. Work on the two projects would be completed by December when the birth centenary celebrations would conclude, he added.

To a question, he said attempts were being made at the official level to remove encroachments on an acre of land belonging to Sahyadri College.

The Head of the Postgraduate Department of English, Rajendra Chenni, said an "English language laboratory" had been established at a specially designed audio-visual room of the department at an estimated cost of Rs. 15 lakh.

He claimed that Kuvempu University was the first university in the State to establish such a laboratory to improve the quality of teaching English.

The Registrar of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy, V.N. Mallikarjunswamy, said a two-day seminar on the theme, "Namma Kuvempu," would be organised by the academy and the university on March 1 and 2 at the university campus.