– For the first time the ceremony is webcast live
– Chancellors Awards for excellence in teaching and research instituted
– Professor Sir Michael Berry, Professor Andre Beteille, Professor Satish Chandra Maheshwari, Sri. K.G. Subramanyan conferred with the Honorary Doctorate degrees. Ms. Aruna Roy, was conferred the Honoris Causa in absentia.
Broad smiles, happy gestures and emotional bonding marked the glittering XV convocation of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on October 1, 2013. More than 900 students who passed out last academic year were seen in colourful robes and caps at the Brahma Kumaris Shanti Sarovar, where Prof. T V Ramakrishnan, Emiretus Professor, BHU and Padma Shri awardee was the Chief Guest. Chief Rector and Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Hon’ble Shri E S L Narasimhan gave away the Gold medals to the meritorious students.
Professor Sir Michael Victor Berry, Professor Andre Beteille, Professor Satish Chandra Maheshwari, Dr. K.G. Subramanyan were conferred with the Honorary Doctorate degree at the Convocation by Dr. C H Hanumantha Rao, Chancellor of UoH. Ms. Aruna Roy, political and social activist who founded and heads the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana was conferred the Honoris Causa in absentia.
Prof. Berry is a world renowned physicist and has numerous important contributions to semi-classical physics (asymptotic physics, quantum chaos) applied to wave phenomena, in quantum mechanics and other areas including optics. Among others he is known for the Berry phase, a phenomenon which has found applications in atomic, condensed matter, nuclear, and elementary particle physics, as well as in optics.
Sri. Subramanyan is an eminent artist, teacher, scholar and critic for more than six decades. As a young student, he was actively engaged in the nation’s struggle for freedom and parity. He has embodied the ideals and aspirations of Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij, and has thereby passed on the legacy of their teachings to successive generations of artists in our country.
Prof. Maheshwari has made several pioneering discoveries in the area of Plant Growth and Development. His studies on plant tissue culture led to a path-breaking discovery on production of haploid plants from anthers. This has revolutionized plant breeding and has been extensively used all over the globe.
Prof. Beteille is one of India’s foremost sociologists and social anthropologists and currently the Chancellor of North Eastern Hill University. His sociology is interdisciplinary in orientation and formulated through a dialogue with economics, political science and law. Prof. Beteille’s commitment to cultural pluralism, liberalism and constitutional democracy has imprinted itself in his academic and popular writings and those that deal with public policy.
For the first time the University announced the Chancellor’s Awards for the year 2013 to five young faculty, in recognition of their overall contribution to the University in various spheres that include research, teaching and mentoring of students. This year’s winners are:
- Dr. R. Balamurugan of the School of Chemistry for his research in the area of Catalysis and Synthetic Organic Chemistry.
- Dr. Aparna Devare of the Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences for her work on the dynamics of politics and political formations during the colonial period.
- Dr. Surajit Dhara of the School of Physics for his research in the area of experimental soft condensed matter physics.
- Dr. Amit Kumar Mishra of Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, School of Social Sciences for his research work on emigration of Indian workers to plantation enclaves during the colonial period.
- Dr. Pammi Pavan Kumar of the Department of Telugu, School of Humanities for his research contributions in Telugu linguistics.
Prof. T V Ramakrishnan in his Convocation address spoke about swadhyaya and stressed on the concept of swadhyayanmapramadaha which literally means do not deviate from self study. He said that the value of swadhyaya for each one of us, for our growth and even for our survival, is immense. This swadhyaya (which is not quite self study, but also includes in its meaning self reflection) may help you accept the society, it may make you a rebel; it may make you see the futility of all things. Whatever it does, it will affect you strongly, said Prof. Ramakrishnan.
Further Prof. Ramakrishnan said that when UoH was founded, about forty years ago, as a response to a movement for Telangana, it was conceived as an academically world class institution and a number of young and old outstanding people came together to form its faculty. From that time, we have witnessed in this country a great decline in these institutions, especially in their ‘radius’ of action and in the area of creation of knowledge.
Elaborating on the need of Universities in our country to grow in the image of real universities; he stated that they need to expand their scope in at least three directions, namely – The disciplines in which higher education is possible in a university need to be many more (to include, specially, professional categories such as technology, medicine and agriculture); Undergraduate education, as well as research, in addition to postgraduate education needs to be there in a big way. The universities widely admired by us have this. For example, Stanford University, a great private university, has about 7,000 undergraduate students and 11,000 graduate students, postdocs etc. and University of California, Berkeley, a great public university, the corresponding numbers are about 26,000 and 10,000; and lastly working to our strengths. Concluding his address Prof. Ramakrishnan said he is hopeful that UoH will help to rediscover universities in India.
Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor in his report congratulated all the successful students and medal winners and wished them more recognitions and achievements in future too. He said that UoH retains its position as one of the major Universities in India in the area of higher education, achieving honours and attaining standards that set a benchmark for other universities in India. Prof. Ramaswamy also spoke about the solar power project (100 KW) installed at the Library for the first time of this magnitude in any campus. In future UoH would like to have more such power plants which will help in reducing the electricity bill. Protecting the environment and making UoH a greener campus is one of the major objectives. Highlighting the achievements of the University, Prof. Ramaswamy said that the UoH has had a preeminent position in the country with respect to its commitment to excellence in research and teaching. In the past month, in recognition of the fact that twice the UGC has declared us to be a University with the potential for excellence; we are now designated simply as University of Excellence, he added.
Concluding his report Prof. Ramaswamy said that the University family has worked tirelessly to fulfill all the expectations that are made of the UoH. All sections of the University have a strong commitment to excellence and our position and our success today is due to the efforts of every member of the community.
In this convocation 95 Gold Medal winners and about 140 Ph.D. Awardees took part along. In all about 1400 students were awarded the masters degree.