"I will strive hard to take Mysore University, which is an acclaimed institution the world over, to the higher echelons of edu-cation in four years," assured Prof. K.S. Rangappa, Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University here this morning.

Addressing his maiden press meet after taking charge as the VC on Jan.11, Prof. Rangappa, the former VC of Karnataka State Open University, thanked the Governor and the State government for appointing him to the VC's post of the most respected University in the world.

The University has got Five Star and 'A+' Grade accreditation from NAAC. The Central Government had recognised the Varsity as an 'Institution of Excellence' and awarded a special grant of Rs. 100 crore for establishing a Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Sustainable Development and also to strengthen infrastructural facilities, which has already been utilised. However, it needs about Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 crore for taking up new schemes and for resource improvement, he said adding that he plans to approach IT and BT companies like Infosys and WIPRO for funds.

Though the University needs Rs. 110 crore per year for its overall expenses, the government releases just Rs. 59 crore per year which does not even cover the salary and pension of the employees. Hence, I will have to mobilise an additional Rs. 50 crore, the new VC said.

"After taking charge of the University, I have convinced the State government to release Rs. 25 crore to cover the expenses of the Varsity in which many economically backward students study," he disclosed.

Outreach programmes: Prof. Rangappa, laying out his visions for the centre of education, said there are plans to start outreach programmes and the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, has been requested to release more grants so that the University can give more importance to academic and research fields, improve teaching and non-teaching staff and thus provide qualitative education, apart from increasing scientific research.

Lecture Series: "It has been mooted to establish an International Centre for Biology and Drug Discovery at a cost of Rs. 50 crore at the University, as also introduction of monthly Mysore University Lecture Series in which distinguished scientists and research scholars will interact with the students and the general public. Scientists of the likes of Dr. C.N.R. Rao will be requested to present an honorary lecture on a topic which will be easily comprehended by the public," said Prof. Rangappa.

The VC also spoke about the centenary celebrations of the University in 2016, to oversee which a High Power Committee has been formed. The occasion will be celebrated in a significant manner, he added.

24x7 call centre: In a first of sorts, the VC disclosed the creation of a 24x7 call centre which will provide information about the University to the people who call from any part of the country.

Regarding women's safety, he said talks are on with security and other officials to prevent women harassment at the campus. A 24x7 patrolling and creation of an exclusive Security Bureau for the Varsity are being mooted.

Registrars Prof. P.S. Nayak and B. Ramu, University Finance Officer Prof. M.Chandra Kumar were present at the press meet.