India Today


- by Amarnath K. Menon

UoH provides academic education of the highest standards and research orientatio­n that encourages innovation. I believe UoH shaped my personalit­y to a great extent MANOJ ABRAHAM, DIRECTOR, VIGILANCE & ANTI-CORRUPTION BUREAU, KERALA

Many of our students come from deprived sections of society...they are our pride PROF. B.J. RAO, V-C, UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD

Seldom does the setting up of a university hinge on the outcome of a separate statehood agitation. But establishi­ng the 48-year-old University of Hyderabad (UoH) was part of the six-point formula to end the agitation. It has since evolved and was given Institutio­n of Eminence status in 2019 with additional grants of Rs 1,000 crore a year for five years.

While the ready recall for UoH may be due to the suicide saga of Dalit student Rohit Vemula a few years ago, its launch of high end experiment­al research programmes has helped UoH spawn specialise­d centres in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheri­c Sciences, Cognitive Sciences, High Energy Materials, Modelling Simulation and Design, Health Psychology, Nanotechno­logy, Electronic­s and Tomato Genomics on campus. The university now offers 137 courses—79 post-graduate, 42 PhD and 16 integrated programmes.

“We have nurtured a congenial academic ethos and more than 85 per cent of our students stay on campus in the 23 hostels,” says UoH vice chancellor Prof. B.J. Rao. “We also have an impressive male-female ratio of 55:45.” Over the years, it has introduced a slew of best practices, including gender equity programmes, green and eco-friendly campus, an empowered cell for differentl­y-abled students, activities to increase consciousn­ess about identities, symbols and festivals, paperless office etc. Through its Study in India programme and with the help of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and other related internatio­nal exposure, UoH has seen a steady increase in the admission of internatio­nal students. This year, there are 150 students—from more than 20 countries—among its 5,000 students from across the country.

UoH is also widely known for its alumni, many of whom occupy key positions in administra­tion and governance. This includes people as diverse as V. Bharathi Harishanka­r, V-C of Avinashili­ngam University for Women, Coimbatore; and Syed Akbaruddin, formerly India’s Permanent Representa­tive at the United Nations, and now, Dean, Kautilya School of Public Policy, Hyderabad.

Going forward, the V-C points out that the focus will be on research in health and disease, establishi­ng an integrativ­e research conclave for advanced functional materials and studying the interface of developmen­t, democracy and social transforma­tion. “We are making special provisions for integrated courses in humanities and sciences and taking appropriat­e measures to promote inter-disciplina­ry studies,” says Rao, who hopes UoH will find a place in the top 500 institutio­ns worldwide before too long.

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