Political interference has lowered the prestige of varsities: Venkatachaliah

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The former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah on Saturday regretted that “political interference and mediocrity of scientific research” had lowered the prestige of universities in the country.

After inaugurating a programme jointly organised by the Karnataka Veterinary Council (KVC) and several other institutes to observe World Veterinary Day here, Mr. Venkatachaliah said universities, which were supposed to be intellectual powerhouses, had “descended to the dismal level of mal-governance.”

The next 10 years, which would be counted as the most interesting period in human history, would see “stunning changes”, he said, and expressed concern that “we are not even sensible with respect to what is happening and what holds for the future of the country”.

The world would see remarkable changes in the next 10 years mainly due to science and technology. But unfortunately, academic research in India was poor as it was not properly funded. It would require Rs. 2.5 lakh crore a year for the promotion of scientific temper. He observed that industries had overtaken universities in terms of facilities for research.

Pointing out that 53 per cent of the Indian population was below 25 years of age, he said, “We don’t know what we are trying to do with this young population.”

Referring to the World Veterinary Day’s theme ‘Animal welfare’, he said presence of pets would increase the capacity for love and compassion in a family. Pet animals could also help overcome loneliness, he said.

Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department Secretary Ashwathanarayana Gowda said it was possible to overcome economic crisis through efficient animal husbandry as animals provide multiple benefits.

KVC Registrar K.V. Kulkarni said World Veterinary Day was being observed by providing free vaccination to pets across the State.

KVC president V. Chandrashekhara Murthy, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services director D.M. Das, KMF managing director Premnath A.S. and Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University Vice-Chancellor C. Renukaprasad also spoke.

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