The University of Hyderabad (UoH) celebrated the 72nd Republic Day with Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile hoisting the National Flag on the campus.

Prof. Podile, paid tributes to the freedom fighters who brought independence and prepared the Constitution that guides us to function as a secular, democratic and republic nation.

“As a nation, in less than a year of outbreak of the pandemic, we have produced Covid19 vaccine not only for us but also for other countries.   We have attained self-sufficiency in food grains, pulses, milk etc.  We can be proud of many more achievements as a knowledge-driven economy/society” the Vice-Chancellor said.

Recalling the achievements of the UoH during the last year Prof. Podlie said “We are the only University ranked 10th in the prestigious Institutes of National Importance and Central Universities category in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020. We have also fared well in Global RUR Rankings 2020. Out of the 13 institutions figuring in this ranking from India, UoH is the only University to be ranked after IISc, the IITs and IISER-Pune, in the top 7 in India. It stands 363rd out of 829 institutions globally. RUR has also ranked our university Humanities as No. 1 in India and 276 globally, and at No. 4 for the Social Sciences in India and 327 globally”.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Appa Rao Podile concluded with warm greetings, on this 72nd Republic Day to everyone present, with tributes to national leaders who brought us this freedom and built such a strong constitution for the country.

 

The full speech of the Vice-Chancellor can be read below.

72nd Republic Day – VC’s Speech

Dear faculty colleagues, officers, staff, students, children and invited guests: Greetings to everyone assembled here for the 72nd Republic Day celebrations.

Our freedom fighters brought independence and prepared the Constitution that guides us to function as a secular, democratic and republic nation. We have emerged as one of the most respected nations in the world.  Let us pay tributes to all those who made sacrifices and fought for our independence.   Freedom and the Constitution have given us rights, along with a huge responsibility.

As a nation, in less than a year of outbreak of the pandemic, we have produced Covid19 vaccine not only for us but also for other countries.   We have attained self-sufficiency in food grains, pulses, milk etc.  We can be proud of many more achievements as a knowledge-driven economy/society.

We are a mini Bharat, with students, faculty and staff drawn from all over the country. University of Hyderabad is no different when we evaluate our achievements in less than five decades of our existence.  Our outstanding alumni, faculty and staff who served the University of Hyderabad before, have brought many laurels to the University.

Responsibility begets responsibility.  We, therefore, have a greater responsibility in the coming years to live to the expectations of the nation, as the youngest and smallest Institution of Eminence under public institutions category.  As an IoE, let us serve as catalysts in driving the knowledge-driven society of our nation.  Let us commit ourselves to working with ‘National Pride’ on this Republic Day.  National pride is critical for designing, adopting and implementing national values for better nation.

Our meritorious Ph.D. students are eligible and already got selected for Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) due to excellent performance over many years and consistently high NIRF ranking.

We are the only University ranked 10th in the prestigious Institutes of National Importance and Central Universities category in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020. We have also fared well in Global RUR Rankings 2020. Out of the 13 institutions figuring in this ranking from India, UoH is the only University to be ranked after IISc, the IITs and IISER-Pune, in the top 7 in India. It stands 363rd out of 829 institutions globally. RUR has also ranked our university Humanities as No. 1 in India and 276 globally, and at No. 4 for the Social Sciences in India and 327 globally.

The University is now among the top Institutions ranked by QS in Asia Rankings 2021. It is ranked 142 out of the 650 higher education institutions ranked in Asia and 11 among all Indian institutions. Of course, we definitely need to improve on this and all of us need to put in more dedicated efforts in research and academic activities.

Our School of Medical Sciences & Fernandez Foundation, Hyderabad, have been identified as partners by the Principal Investigator, Prof. Soo Downe of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), UK in the prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Research grant on appropriate use of Caesarean Section. In this globally networked initiative, UoH is with WHO-Geneva and partners in Brazil and Canada to implement an innovative project called Re-JUDGE.

We need to remember that “quality counts” in every aspect.  Our University has strengthened Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), in keeping with recent developments and injunctions from the UGC about Academic Integrity, when promotions and appointments are made, subjecting the publications of candidates to qualitative rather than mere quantitative assessments.  The University has already started working through a designated Task Force and the IQAC, to prepare the report for NAAC reaccreditation in 2021.

Under the IoE, we have already launched a few schemes and some more are in the pipeline. The IoE project is our major source of revenue and opportunities to pursue excellence in research and teaching to the greater benefit of our students. The IoE seeks to ensure that our students are globally eminent, and most sought-after by employers. The schemes launched for research funding will soon be followed by similar schemes for teaching and outreach programs, workshops and seminars programs, internationalization, administrative officers’ plans, and student incentives.

The year 2019-20 witnessed decent placements in spite of the pandemic and lockdown. The Placement Guidance Advisory Bureau team has been able to coordinate with the companies and have ensured placements for 347 students in 129 companies.  The highest package being 43 Lakhs per annum. For year 2000-21, about 100 students are already placed in various companies so far. Eleven (11) students of the MPH Program of School of Medical Sciences of 2016, 2017 and 2018 batches have secured positions of District Epidemiologist in different States during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an honour for our University and students to be of help to society.

The Digital Learning Centre stepped in at a critical time – the pandemic – and built the essential infrastructure for online teaching by setting up an LMS and announcing training programs for the faculty.

We have embarked on a phased return to in-person classes for postgraduate students by considering the Task Force recommendations.  We now have about 148 terminal semester students of the Science Schools and SN School on the campus for completion of laboratory/practice courses that have either been left incomplete from the last semester or have been postponed to the final semester. Efforts are on to bring in more students but with caution so as to keep our campus safe and free from Covid19.

We now have a world class state-of-art Vivekananda Students’ Amenities Centre inaugurated by the Hon’ble Vice-President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu garu in person on 16 November 2020. This 3,260 square meters building has user friendly facilities, with the office of the Dean of Students’ Welfare, Chief Warden, Chief Proctor, among others. Besides, there is an Amphitheatre and a multi-cuisine food court. It also provides students with the space for socialization and interaction with their peers.

A total of 13 buildings are at different stage with an investment of about Rs. 160 crores.  Some of them will be available in next 12 months and all of them will be available before December 2022.  In addition, we have moved forward to utilize about Rs. 550 crores grant to build more building and new equipment under IoE.    Investment to build world class infrastructure worth over Rs. 700 crores, in a short span of 2-3 years, has not happened before and may not happen in future. Na bhooto na bhavishyat.  

We have about 30,000 alumni.  Several of them are working across the globe in different organizations in different capacities, and some of them are entrepreneurs like the Zen Technologies, KN BioSciences and so on.  They are justifiably proud of their alma mater and we are proud of their career progression.  It is heartening to see our alumni taking out time and meeting our faculty and officials whenever they are travelling in India and abroad. We would like our alumni to be more involved and contribute more for the progress and eminence of our University.  Recently, we had an online lecture by our Alumnus, Shri Manoj Abraham IPS, Additional DGP, Kerala Police as part of Vigilance Awareness Week, which was highly appreciated. We have also had      Mr. Akbaruddin, alumnus and India’s representative at the United Nations addressing the University community. We plan to facilitate more such interactions with our Alumni on a regular basis.

I am also happy to share with you all that the University’s alumni, Mr. Dheeraj Kumar and Mr. Masum Asick Molla, from the Department of Fine Arts, beautifully sculpted the UoH Logo on the rock which is visible to the commuters passing on Lingampally-Gachibowli main road along with the ones who enter the campus. This has elevated the beauty of our main gate.  Let us offer a big round of applause for the contributions of our alumni.

We are soon launching Research@UoH portal to showcase our best researchers and research. Negotiations are on with at least three reputed foreign universities to collaborate in teaching, research and student exchanges.

While the intellectual resource of faculty and students have brought laurels, we must remember and gratefully acknowledge the required grant support given by the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission.  We also received substantial funding from other national and international funding agencies.  I thank all of them on behalf of the University.   With all such support for the small group of 5000 students and 430 faculty, the sky is the limit for us to fly high and become the best University in the country and a top ranking one globally.  Let us use the innovative National Education Policy 2020 of Government of India to fulfill the expectations.

I also find it necessary to mention the laudable service put in by our Sanitation Department, consisting of regular and outsourced workers, in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.  Many offices have worked hard during these testing times and we hope with the arrival of vaccine, our country will be able to move forward and normalcy return at the earliest. I request all my students and colleagues to follow all the rules and regulations in place to make our campus safe and free for Covid19.

Finally, I request every one of you to place UoH interests first and grow in your chosen field with unbound limits.  But, let me also request you to remember your UoH always as it served as a launching pad for you to prove your abilities.

I conclude with warm greetings, once again, on this 72nd Republic Day to everyone present here, with tributes to our national leaders who brought us this freedom and built such a strong constitution for us. 

JAI HIND