The Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, through its affiliated colleges, should create ‘Knowledge Enabling Centre’ (KEC) here in the ‘Hub and Spokes’ model for the benefit of various businesses in the four southern districts where the University has its presence, Nalinaksh S. Vyas, former Vice-Chancellor, Rajasthan Technical University and Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT – Kanpur has suggested.
Delivering the 30th convocation address here on Saturday, Dr. Nalinaksh said the KEC should be established for the benefit of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanniyakumari and Tenkasi districts in the line of PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas) suggested for late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
The MSU, having various departments including arts, science, engineering and technology, commerce, languages, education, business administration and physical education should act as ‘Hub’ while the beneficiary areas should be the ‘spokes’. Since these beneficiary areas house a range of businesses including agriculture trading, tourism, banking, agro machinery, cement, steel products, textiles, spinning and weaving, tanneries, brick kilns, information technology and educational services etc., every department of MSU could contribute to the uplift of these businesses.
The departments of MSU, as part of its outreach programmes, should assess the requirements of agriculture and MSMEs, networking various business groups and bodies, developing specialized labs and resources, conduct periodic workshops and seminars etc., all for the uplift of these industries in the four districts.
“This ‘Hub and Spoke’ strategy has been quite successful in Punjab University, Chandigarh and Anna University Chennai. Hence, the MSU, through its departments, should create ‘Knowledge Enabling Centre’ for this region with the active involvement of the students, faculty, the alumni and the Central and the State Governments. No transformation would be possible without a team of competent, optimistic, highly-motivated, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, hardworking and disciplined people,” Dr. Nalinaksh said.
He also exhorted the MSU to become part of national programme, SHRI (Scientific Heritage Research Initiative), which has been launched to address the conservation and maintenance of movable and immovable heritage.
“European colonizers systematically exterminated or undermined local traditional science, technology and crafts through modernization assault. This intellectual arrogance with profit motive reduced the diversity of worldviews in ways similar to destruction of biodiversity. Since India has to achieve intellectual repositioning, Indian cultural heritage should be conserved, maintained and digitized like the European Union did for the benefit of today’s citizens and future generations. Hence, the MSU, having historical and cultural heritage sites in its operational area, should be an active member of SHRI for conserving the heritage,” Dr. Nalinaksh said.
Vice-Chancellor, MSU, N. Chandrasekar informed that the University, positioned 83rd in all-India University Ranking by NIRF ranking, had undertaken 19 funded research projects with a total funding of ₹5.67 crore from UGC, DST, ICHR and ICSSR. The faculty members have filed 11 patents during last year.
A total of 459 candidates including 351 Ph.D. scholars and 108 medal winners received their degrees from the Governor and Chancellor of MSU R. N. Ravi while 40,163 received their degrees in absentia.
The Governor also interacted with the medal winners after the end of the convocation ceremony.