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Silver Jubilee Celebrations of MAHE

In the early 1950’s, a formidable personality endeavored to convert the wilderness in Manipal to a buzzing educational province. Regarded as the builder of the university town of Manipal, Dr. T.M.A. Pai then proceeded to unfurl the sails of the glorious journey of this university. To commemorate the silver jubilee of the deemed-to-be university, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) had a grand celebration at Chaitya Hall, Fortune Inn on the 19th of January, 2018.  Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys presided over the ceremony as the chief guest for the evening.

It was an honor to have other distinguished dignitaries of the likes of Pro-Chancellor Dr. H.S. Ballal, Mrs. Vasanthi Pai, all the Vice-Chancellors of MAHE, Chairman of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) Dr. Ranjan Pai, Vice-Chancellor of Manipal International University Dr. T.L.N.G. Rao, Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University, Sikkim Dr. Venkatesh, President of Manipal University, Jaipur Dr. G.K. Prabhu, and many other notable figures.

The evening began with the recitation of a Sanskrit invocation by Ms. Sindhu Kamath, a student of the first year from Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), and a floral tribute to Dr. T.M.A. Pai in remembrance of his revered dedication and significant contributions. Pro-Chancellor Dr. H.S. Ballal welcomed the audience to mark the commencement of the first segment of the event.

Courtesy : The Photography Club

Next, Vice-Chancellor Dr. H. Vinod Bhat embarked the gathering on the various milestones in the history of MAHE. He saluted the father-son duo of Dr. T.M.A Pai and Dr. Ramdas Pai. MAHE is the umbrella to five institutes in Manipal and Mangalore and 32,000 plus active learners. Dr. Bhat declared his intentions to increase these figures by establishing campuses in Sri Lanka, Bangalore, and Jamshedpur. He also stated that MAHE is the highest ranked private university in India in the QS World Ranking.

Moving on, Dr. G.K. Prabhu introduced the audience to the successful endeavors of Mr. Narayana Murthy, followed by the release of the silver jubilee logo. This was followed by a grand celebration to felicitate all the Vice-Chancellors of MAHE with shawls, mementos, and garlands. Dr. M.V.S. Valiathan, the first Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, was requested to express his gratitude on behalf of everyone. In his speech, he spoke about the ideologies of John Hopkins, an American entrepreneur, that a university should be run like a business and the shrewdness which is involved in it. Though one should always strive to expand the frontiers of one’s knowledge, the act of imparting education should be performed with utmost finesse and in no haste. He reflected upon a comparison between the construction of the massive Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and the setting up of this university town – how both were a joint effort of numerous men and women.

The evening witnessed the end of the first segment with the vote of thanks by Dr. Narayana Sabhahit, Registrar MAHE. The much-awaited interactive session with Mr. Narayana Murthy began shortly after it. It was conducted by Dr. Gayathri Prabhu, Associate Professor, MCPH.

Mr. Murthy commenced by humbly calling himself a student of MAHE as he has been awarded an honorary doctoral degree from here. He went on to share his experiences which translated him from a confused leftist to a determined compassionate capitalist. He explained how his interactions with varied people across the globe, reading books like My Experiments with Truth, Black Skin, White Masks and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and his first endeavor in Softronics led him to found Infosys. He went on to share that India is still not capable enough to produce software which compatible with household products, which explains why his company deals in services focusing on customer and investor experience.

Courtesy : The Photography Club

He stressed on conducting open-book examinations, and rewarding the learners with independent thinking. He also suggested the measure of introducing an honors segment in each course for brighter students to keep their interests alive. He asked the audience of educationists to foster originality and curiosity among individuals. Mr. Murthy says, “Science is about unraveling nature. Engineering is about overcoming the limitations of nature.” Besides these subjects, he also focused on the necessity of studying one’s culture and heritage. It is important to gracefully accept subjects pertaining to social sciences to realize one’s identity.

After explaining the whopping difference in the population density of India with countries like China, Brazil, and the USA, Mr. Murthy made the audience aware of the opportunities cropping up in agriculture, housing, education, etc. One of the questions which impressed him was – “How do students keep pace with the industrial requirements?” In response to that, he asked the students to think ahead of their time and be more vigilant and curious. Independent thinking and the ability to pick up new lessons on the go will help them tackle unemployment in the near future of automation. He stressed on the need to have an open and innovative mind. With an enjoyable anecdote of his office janitor, he established the mantra that to innovate a task is to do it ‘faster, cheaper, better’.

Mr. Murthy also made an honest remark on the controversial topic of implementation of Right to Education Act (RTE). He commented that in some way RTE has passed on the burden of educating youth from the government schools to private schools. He wished to see the government schools as self-sufficient bodies with ample resources to provide education to all.

The audience fell into a deep silence, soaking in like a sponge each word of this very learned and experienced man. In the end, the hall buzzed with applause to signal how Mr. Murthy had won so many hearts in what seemed such a short interval of time. The celebrations ended with the token of appreciation by Dr. Ranjan Pai, Chairman (MEMG).