Emphasizing the role of private universities in the Indian education system, Member of Parliament and Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr. Karan Singh called on for a massive expansion of universities.
“I do not think it is possible for government institutions alone, whether state or central, to meet the educational needs for our people. We need a massive expansion of universities- both public and private sectors. I think private sector has to pay an increasingly important role in the endeavour. BITS in a way is demonstrating as a model of what private sector can achieve,” he said while addressing the convocation ceremony of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani – Hyderabad Campus.
While referring to the UNESCO International Commission for Education in the 21st century, Dr. Singh shared four pillars of learning, “learning to know”, “learning to do”, “learning to live together” and “learning to be”.
651 graduates, 84 post graduates and 13 Ph.D. students were awarded degrees on the occasion. In addition, three students, Anupriya Gagneja, Pratyush Mahapatra and Shyam Krishna Shenoy were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively for their outstanding academic achievement.
Presenting his annual report and sharing the future roadmap for the University, Vice Chancellor Prof. B.N Jain, said, “We aspire to be listed as one of India’s top research-led technical institutes by academic year 2020-21, both in India and Asia. While that may seem like a tall order, we have begun work on a new set of big-ticket imperatives under project “Mission 2015” that will enable our faculty and students together to excel in teaching, research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry engagement.”
Addressing the graduating students, he said, “I wish you all the very best in your lives. As you move forward in your life, do reflect upon the many contributions that your families, your teachers, and your communities have made to your lives.”
Sharing some key achievements for the Hyderabad campus, Director Prof. VS Rao, said, “As part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship imperative of Mission 2015, SandBoxx, a prototyping lab was set up in the campus in May 2015. It is a multi-disciplinary platform to develop technologies in the domains of Internet of Things, Wearable Technologies and Consumer Electronics. The Hyderabad campus has also collaborated with Stanford University for a project titled “Mana Maali” targeting to reduce the mental stress among Indian University students. A unique technology “Lantern” is introduced to increase access to mental healthcare for students.”
Conveying his wishes to the graduating students, he said, “I congratulate the graduating students and wish them success in all their future endeavours. The degree awarded to you is a certificate of your academic qualification. However, I sincerely hope that the education provided to you on this campus will lay a strong foundation for lifelong learning so that you can face the challenges of life with confidence and determination. I am confident, as ambassadors of BITS Pilani, you will continue to strive in enhancing the reputation of your Alma Mater.”
BITS Pilani offers undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes in Science, Engineering, Pharmacy, Management and Social Sciences to over 12,000 students from its four campuses. During 2014-15, 2,878 students have graduated from BITS Pilani with an undergraduate or post-graduate degree.