India Today - - EDUCATION - By Supriya Sharma

Green boule­vards, a hos­pi­tal, a mu­seum, the coun­try’s largest li­brary, a 500- strong pri­vate se­cu­rity force, a tem­ple, a 100acre agri­cul­tural farm, 72 hos­tels, four post of­fices, a petrol pump, a shop­ping cen­tre, a swim­ming pool, an airstrip, four he­li­pads and even an IIT— all on the cam­pus. Sprawled over 1,350 acres, Ba­naras Hindu Univer­sity ( BHU) is a well- planned town­ship within the an­cient city of Varanasi. Es­tab­lished in 1916 by freedom fighter and ed­u­ca­tion­ist Pan­dit Madan Mo­han Malviya, the univer­sity isn’t let­ting tra­di­tion come in the way of ex­plor­ing newer fron­tiers in dis­ci­plines such as man­age­ment, medicine, agri­cul­ture and en­gi­neer­ing.

The univer­sity, con­sis­tently ranked among the top five in the IN­DIA TODAYNielsen Best Uni­ver­si­ties Sur­vey, is all set to fur­ther its legacy of knowl­edge. To arm its stu­dents with the tech­no­log­i­cal know- how es­sen­tial to com­pete on a global plat­form, the univer­sity has un­der­taken a num­ber of e- ini­tia­tives this year. A 24- hour, air- con­di­tioned cyber li­brary with a seat­ing ca­pac­ity of 200 stu­dents was in­au­gu­rated in March 2013. “This fa­cil­ity is par­tic­u­larly for eco­nom­i­cally back­ward stu­dents who may not own lap­tops and for those who do not re­side on cam­pus but want to study till late in the night,” says Lalji Singh, 65, the vice- chan­cel­lor ( VC) of the univer­sity, also an alum­nus. Singh is a molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gist and a Padma Shri awardee.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has also made pro­vi­sion for ve­hi­cles with se­cu­rity guards that ferry fe­male stu­dents from the li­brary back to the hos­tel. “I plan to set up cyber li­braries for the univer­sity fac­ulty soon. Plans to ex­pand the cur- rent cyber li­brary are also afoot as its seat­ing ca­pac­ity is in­suf­fi­cient for a univer­sity as large as ours,” says Singh.

The univer­sity is also set to min­imise the use of pa­per from the 2013- 14 aca­demic ses­sion. Un­der the e- gov­er­nance ini­tia­tive, col­lege and hos­tel ad­mis­sions, fac­ulty ap­point­ments and all fi­nan­cial op­er­a­tions and records will be main­tained elec­tron­i­cally. “In an­other two months, the univer­sity op­er­a­tions will be au­to­mated com­pletely. This will also en­sure com­plete trans­parency in

Ear­lier science was driv­ing tech­nol­ogy, but now tech­nol­ogy is driv­ing science. If we do not de­velop tech­nol­ogy, we will never be­come lead­ers.


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