Pursuit of excellence

Print edition : July 30, 2010

Elizabeth H. blackburn,who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 2009, delivering a lecture-K. MURALI KUMAR

Several quality institutions have come up in Bangalore in keeping with its tradition of being a hub for education.

FOR more than half a century Bangalore has been a centre for educational, scientific and research institutions. Many of these institutions came up as a logical sequel to the presence of public sector enterprises such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and the Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), which were established in the 1950s as part of the country's drive towards self-reliance. The number of professional and degree colleges that have sprung up in the past two decades ensures a ready pool of technically qualified people for the specialised institutes.

A strong emphasis on education since the days when the region was part of the princely State of Mysore has helped these institutions in no small measure. In 1917, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharajah of Mysore, started the Government Engineering College in Bangalore. It was later renamed the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering.

Even when the British took control of Mysore state in 1831 and made Bangalore their capital, the city made rapid strides in education. In 1858, the Bangalore High School was started in the city's cantonment area. It later became a first-grade college and was designated as Central College in 1875.

Bishop Cotton School and St. Joseph's College were started in 1865 and 1882 respectively. In 1873, a philanthropist, Rao Bahadur Arcot Narayanaswamy Mudaliar, started a school, the forerunner to the present RBANM Institutions, where the Congressman and revolutionary Bipin Chandra Pal served as principal.

In 1909, Viceroy Lord Minto approved the Vesting Order to constitute one of Bangalore's finest institutions of scientific study and research, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The brainchild of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, the IISc came into existence after Sir K. Sheshadri Iyer, the Dewan of Mysore, persuaded the government of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV to donate 372 acres (150 hectares) of land for it. In July 1911, the institute's first batch of students was admitted in the departments of general and applied chemistry and electrotechnology.

In the past few decades, several institutions of great quality such as the RajaRajeswari Medical College and Hospital (RRMCH), the Sri Jagadguru Balagangadharanatha Institute of Technology (SJBIT) and the Oxford Educational Institutions (OEI) have come up, continuing Bangalore's tradition of being a hub for medical and engineering colleges in India.

RajaRajeswari group

The RajaRajeswari Medical College and Hospital (RRMCH) is part of the RajaRajeswari group of institutions (RGI). The group aims to develop world-class institutions in the fields of medicine, engineering, management, paramedical sciences and other emerging technologies. To fulfil this aim, it set up the Moogambigal Charitable and Educational Trust in 1992; the trust manages several institutions now, including a medical college and hospital, a dental college and hospital, and colleges of nursing, physiotherapy, engineering, management studies and computer applications.

A.C. SHANMUGAM, head of the RajaRajeswari group of institutions.-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Under the leadership of A.C. Shanmugam, former Member of Parliament from Vellore, the RGI has established itself as a provider of quality education in Karnataka.

Shanmugam has established 25 educational institutions and founded three educational and charitable trusts in Chennai, Arni and Bangalore. Apart from this, he established the Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute in Chennai, of which he is the Chancellor.

A deemed university, it offers courses in engineering and technology, medical and dental sciences, humanities and sciences at the undergraduate (U.G.), postgraduate (P.G.) and doctoral levels. Shanmugam has also set up the ACS General Hospital, a 400-bed super specialty hospital in Chennai.

The RRMCH's mission is to offer holistic health services to the people of Bangalore. The college and hospital are situated in a serene, 25-acre (10 ha) campus. The 500-bed hospital has state-of-the-art facilities. The medical college aims at creating doctors who will make a significant difference in medical care and services. The college had a pass percentage of 88 per cent in the final-year MBBS examinations of the last academic year.

Medical facilities

Apart from the pre-clinical and para-clinical departments that form the pillars of the teaching department at the RRMCH, the clinical departments offer the latest diagnostic and therapeutic services.

THE CHEMISTRY LABORATORY at St. Joseph's Arts and Science College, one of the oldest educational institutions in the city. A file picture.-

The ear, nose and throat (ENT) department offers the advanced Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), and the ophthalmology department offers phacoemulsification, a form of cataract surgery. The obstetrics and gynaecology department, apart from its regular services, offers laparoscopic surgery, while the orthopaedic department offers arthroscopic procedures. Other modern radio diagnostic facilities such as colour Doppler and computed tomography (CT) scan are also offered here.

The RRMCH has an extensive range of community programmes such as subsidised health care for the economically backward. It has set up a Primary Health Centre and an Urban Health Centre. It has also set up occupational health check-up centres in industries, conducted seminars on health issues for factory workers and organised health camps in schools and in villages.

The institution is also a nodal centre for implementing national health programmes such as the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, the National Leprosy Eradication Programme and the National AIDS Control Programme.

SAT

The Sri Jagadguru Balagangadharanatha Institute of Technology (SJBIT) was started in 2001 by Jagadguru Sri Sri Sri Balagangadharanatha Swamiji, the president of the Sri Adichunchanagiri Trust (SAT). The 20-hectare campus is located on the outskirts of Bangalore, in the BGS Health and Education city.

The trust believes in education that encompasses the intellectual, spiritual and physical needs of students. It runs 475 educational institutions across the country with more than one lakh students and the Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in Balagangadharanatha Nagar near Bangalore. Established in 1986, the medical college caters to the health needs of the rural populace, said Balagangadharanatha Swamiji. The Cancer Research Centre at AIMS has received prestigious international awards.

In 1996, the SAT established the Sri Kalabhyraveshwara Swamy Ayurvedic Medical College in Bangalore. The college has a herb garden with more than 300 medicinal plants situated on 10 acres near its campus.

THE SRI JAGADGURU Balagangadharanatha Institute of Technology in Bangalore.-

Apart from this, the SAT runs colleges in Bangalore, Chikballapur and Chikmagalur, offering courses in paramedical and pharmaceutical sciences, U.G. degrees in Business Management (BBM) and Commerce (B.Com), and P.G. degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Computer Applications (MCA).

The MCA college at Chikballapur aims to create full-fledged software professionals required by the ever-growing and changing industrial scene. These institutions have Memorandums of Understanding [MoUs] with Infosys Technologies Limited, Tata Elxsi Limited, Rapsri Engineering Industries Limited, and EMC Data Systems, among other companies, to assist students to update their industry-oriented knowledge, said the Swamiji.

The SAT offers vocational training programmes in tailoring, embroidery, weaving, local arts and handicrafts, carpentry, welding, foundry, plumbing, electric wiring, driving and watch assembling among others. Tailoring classes are arranged for girls who drop out of school in rural areas.

The trust also conducts Internet awareness programmes for rural students, who are drawn from 120 government schools. Apart from providing education to over 70,000 students, the SAT, along with the Foundation for Unity of Religious and Enlightened Citizenship (FUREC), has signed an MoU with the Karnataka Public Instruction Department under the Karnataka School Adoption Programme'.

The trust runs two schools for the visually challenged. One of them is the Balagangadharanatha Swamiji Blind Residential School at Archakarahally near Ramanagaram, and the other is at Cumbum in Tamil Nadu.

The Swamiji said, Students here are taught music, re-canning, basket weaving, etc., so that they can lead economically independent lives.

Free hostels

The trust has also established free hostels throughout the State, both in rural and in urban areas to help students from the economically backward sections.

THE SRI JAGADGURU Balagangadharanatha Institute of Technology, Managing Director Prakashnath Swamiji.-

Students from rural areas, particularly girls, find it difficult to get decent accommodation when they come to the city. The trust plans to establish hostels in all the districts, while focussing on Bangalore. Its latest proposal is to construct a hostel in Bangalore for boys from rural areas, where 5,000 boys can be accommodated.

The trust has also started several orphanages across Karnataka, where about 2,500 children are housed and given vocational training in addition to formal education.

The trust also emphasises the importance of moral education for children in its various schools.

Oxford Group

Oxford Educational Institutions (OEI), functioning under the aegis of the Children's Education Society, runs 32 educational institutions in Bangalore, including schools and colleges. The colleges offer U.G. and P.G. programmes in medicine, engineering, arts and science and law. In the past three decades, the OEI has seen immense growth under the guidance of founder-chairman, S. Narasa Raju, and the leadership of its executive director, S.N.V.L. Narasimha Raju. Courses at OEI colleges are designed to give students theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

S.N.V.L. NARASIMHA RAJU, executive director, Oxford Educational Institutions.-

The Oxford Dental College, Hospital and Research Centre is affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) and is recognised by the Dental Council of India. It offers U.G. and P.G. degrees in all streams of dentistry.

Housed in a spacious eight-storey complex, the college has facilities for pre-clinical and clinical training with good infrastructure. It has a fully equipped operation theatre to conduct an extensive range of surgeries.

The Oxford College of Engineering is affiliated to the Visvesvaraya Technological University, recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Strategically located on Hosur Road, which is an information technology and biotechnology corridor, the college offers U.G. courses in engineering streams such as mechanical, computer science, information science, electronics, electrical, civil and biotechnology.

It also offers P.G. programmes in business administration, computer applications, thermal power engineering, power electronics, computer science engineering and digital electronics and communication. The college is spread out on five acres (2 ha) with fully equipped scientific laboratories, computer laboratories and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) facilities.

The Oxford College of Science, Business Management, Arts and Law offers U.G. and P.G. programmes in various subjects such as microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry, applied genetics, electronics, mathematics, statistics, fashion and apparel designing, and computer science.

The management wing offers courses in business management, business administration, commerce and international business. Known for its good infrastructure and a well-established placement centre, the college has been ranked highly among private colleges in Karnataka for the past two years. It is one of the premier institutes to be affiliated to the University of Bangalore and is recognised by the AICTE. Its mission is to encourage students to specialise and make them business savvy.

The Oxford group also offers paramedical courses at the U.G. and P.G. levels in nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy. These institutions are affiliated to the RGUHS. The research and development wings at the various campuses take into account the future requirements of their P.G. students to do doctoral work. Over the past 34 years, the Children's Education Society has grown to be a provider of world-class education in Bangalore, offering about 100 multidisciplinary courses.

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