“Open Universities like KSOU are placed clearly at an advantage as they not only spread education in sheer quantitative terms, but promise to keep the door open to the society,” said Prof. Samir Kumar Das, Vice-Chancellor, North Bengal University in West Bengal.

He was delivering the convocation address during 13th Annual Convocation of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) held at Kalamandira this morning.

In his address, he mentioned that a few institutions of higher education, apart from the academics, had seriously taken up the task of making good human beings. ‘Mediocrity, more than excellence, breeds fast and it is truly infectious. If the rule of average and mediocrity cannot lift up the institutions, it certainly pulls down the few who may not be found wanting in individual talent and genius.’

Prof. Samir further added that the institutions of higher education are expected to realise that they must have the humility to listen to learn from the society.

Excellence everywhere is born not within institutions but at their crevices and interstices. No institution can develop and prosper merely by bolting the door from inside, by following its rules and precedents and by fearing outsiders, he said.

Opening the door for the society takes a lot a courage for it demands from us greater flexibility and fluidity in our knowledge practices and the ability to accept the challenge of being proven wrong, added Prof. Samir.

He mentioned that in our tradition, we have never stopped learning from our parents, elders, gurus and others.

Prior to his speech, Governor and Chancellor of the University H.R. Bhardwaj was given a grand welcome by the University.

Actress Bharathi Vishnuvardhan instituted a gold medal in the name of her late husband and cine actor Vishnuvardhan on the occasion. Governor’s wife Prafullatha Bhardwaj, Members of the Board of Management and Academic Council were also present.

27,164 degrees presented

KSOU presented a total of 27,164 degrees which included 11,515 men and 15,649 women graduates. The University also presented 25 PhD degrees and 59 M. Phil degrees.

A total number of 5,277 candidates received their post-graduation degrees in Humanities Department which include Kannada, English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu. Out of the 5,277 candidates, 3,323 are women and 1,954 are male candidates.

In the undergraduate level in Humanities, a total number of 5,598 degrees were awarded in which 3,641 are women and 1,957 are male candidates. In the social science subject, a total number of 7,509 post-graduate degrees were awarded which included 3,509 men and 4,003 women. In Commerce, a total number of 4,552 post graduate degrees were awarded which included 2,788 women and 1,764 male candidates and in under-graduation, 509 B.Com degrees were awarded which included 352 women and 157 men.

In the Education Department, a total number of 1,023 degrees were awarded (439 women and 584 men). Among the 2,696 candidates who received degrees in Information Science and Technology and Library and Information Science, 1,197 were women and 1,499 were men.

A.M. Nagendra Prasad, who secured first rank in MA (Kannada), received three gold medals and a cash prize during the convocation.

Nagendra was awarded with Silver Jubilee (ICC and CE) Endowment Gold Medal, State Bank of India Endowment Gold Medal, S. Shivaram Endowment Gold Medal and Sri Jayachamarajapura Shivappa Gowda and Smt. Shivamma Parashivamurthy Endowment Cash Prize for securing first rank with highest marks in MA (Kannada).

Special Ph.D theses

The convocation also witnessed the Ph.D degrees being awarded to theses submitted on Mysore city, Mysore Dasara and Wadiyars who ruled Mysore.

Tahsildar V. Ranganath, who works at Mysore DC’s office, was awarded Ph.D degree for his 600 page thesis on ‘Mysore Dasara.’ History Professor V. Sambaji Rao was awarded Ph.D degree for his thesis on ‘Mysore Wadiyars’ and Professor C. Nagaratna received her PhD degree for her thesis on ‘Raja Wadiyar’. The convocation also witnessed N. Lakshmikanth, Registrar (Evaluation), Tumkur University, receiving his PhD degree for his thesis on ‘Former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde’. Another candidate S.Nanjundaswamy was awarded PhD degree for his thesis on ‘Mandya District’.

Prof. Shivanna, Department of Political Science, was awarded PhD degree for his thesis on the topic ‘Coalition Government in India - impact on Karnataka’. H.R. Hemalatha was awarded PhD for her thesis on ‘Relevance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s social and political ideologies in times of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation’.

No Honorary Doctorates this year

Breaking the tradition of honouring scholars and eminent personalities with Honorary Doctorates during the convocation, KSOU decided not to award any Honorary Doctorates this year. Speaking to the press persons yesterday, KSOU Vice Chancellor Prof. M.G. Krishnan said that there were some undeserving persons who were awarded with Honorary Doctorates earlier and he did not want to continue the same.

He further added that some other universities in the State also had conferred honorary doctorates on some “undeserving persons”. When we recognise somebody, it should be based purely on merit and awarding them a doctorate should boost our image. This is not happening.

He also alleged that there were attempts to influence him to award honorary doctorates. However he denied that the decision of not awarding honorary doctorates was due to pressure from Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and the Government to approve the names suggested by them. Prof. Krishnan, admitting that he was breaking a tradition, mentioned that sometimes traditions had to be broken.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore