Growth & excellence

Print edition : August 27, 2010

The S.S. Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre of the Bapuji Educational Association, which runs about 45 educational institutions in Davanagere.-PHOTOGRAPHS: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The two central Karnataka districts are promoting higher education in a big way.

DAVANAGERE and Chitradurga districts, in central Karnataka, are known for the promotion of higher education. They have a number of institutions that offer undergraduate (U.G.), postgraduate (P.G.) and research programmes in arts, sciences and commerce and professional courses. Davanagere is more than a thousand years old. Bethur, a village close to Davanagere, was said to be the capital of the Chalukyas and later a part of the Hoysala dynasty. Present-day Davanagere owes its origin to a piece of land donated by a Bethur merchant for the construction of the Thribhuvaneswara temple. The people of Davanagere are easily identified by their unique dialect of Kannada and lifestyle. The city came close to becoming the capital of the State of Mysore (later Karnataka) in 1956.

Though Davanagere was always known for its trade and commerce, several cotton, oil and rice mills were established in the city as the surrounding villages cultivated groundnut and other oilseeds, and cotton and paddy in abundance . The rapid growth of the textile industry earned it the sobriquet Manchester of Karnataka. Later, following the decline of the mills, and with the establishment of several schools and colleges, the city is now called the Oxford of Karnataka.

Chitradurga, an hour's drive from Davanagere, has also emerged as a centre for higher education. The small city is known for its historical and archaeological monuments, some belonging to the prehistoric period. The magnificent rocks on the Chinmuladri hills are a sight to behold. The Chitradurga Fort built by the Palegar dynasty and the Chandravalli inscriptions dating to the Kadamba period lend the city a historical flavour.

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is setting up a campus in Chitradurga district for research in space science, aerospace, water resource technology, ecology and environment. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is setting up a Special Material Enrichment Facility in the district.

SHAMANUR SHIVASHANKARAPPA. He is the honorary secretary of the BEA.-

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is to build the country's second missile test range here (India's first integrated test range is at Chandipur-on-Sea near Balasore in Orissa). These centres will open up job opportunities for students from the region.

SJM Vidyapeetha

The Sri Jagadguru Murugharajendra (SJM) Math's SJM Vidyapeetha (SJMV) runs several higher educational institutions in the region. The Math's pontiff, Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru is also the president of the SJMV. The SJM Math and affiliated educational institutions define the character of Chitradurga to a large extent. The SJMV promotes research and development in higher education and develops entrepreneurial skills among its students.

It was established in 1966 and the various professional institutions under it have qualified faculty members and well-equipped laboratories. Facilities such as hostels, libraries and Internet connectivity are provided in these institutions.

Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru said: The purpose of SJMV is to spread education in the backward area of Chitradurga. Our aim is to provide education for poor students. In this regard we provide scholarships and fee waivers to meritorious students. There is no distinction on the basis of religion or caste.

THE G.M. INSTITUTE of Technology in Davanagere. It has an ISO 9001 certification for applying quality systems in the task of imparting technical education.-

Among the flagship institutes of the SJMV are the Basaveshwara Medical College and Hospital (BMCH), the S.J.M. Dental College and Hospital (SJMDCH), the S.J.M. Institute of Technology (SJMIT) and the S.J.M. College of Pharmacy (SJMCP). The SJMV also manages a school of nursing, a polytechnic, an industrial training institute and a law college.

The BMCH was started in 2001 and has established itself as a leading provider of medical education. The hospital, including the rural and urban health centres, was developed with a social commitment of providing health care to people of the district. It is the only medical college in the district. The hospital has 500 beds. In the general ward the beds are offered free to the needy. The SJMDCH, founded in 1985, believes that students need not only knowledge but also empathy, particularly as medical practitioners. For this purpose, students are encouraged to participate in community development programmes.

The SJMIT was established in 1980. The institute has a 45-acre campus where experienced and highly qualified faculty members in all disciplines instruct students in well-equipped laboratories and computer centres. It also has a full-fledged digital library.

The SJMIT's students have bagged several ranks in the universities to which it has been affiliated over the years. So far its students received 33 ranks in Mysore University, 68 ranks in Kuvempu University and 12 ranks in Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), to which the SJMIT is currently affiliated. It offers engineering courses in computer science, electronics and communication, information science, electrical and electronics, mechanical, industrial and production, automobile and civil engineering.

SRI SHIVAMURTHY MURUGHA Sharanaru. He is the president of the SJM Vidyapeetha, which runs several educational institutions in Chitradurga.-

The SJMCP, which was established some three decades ago, is a well-known centre for pharmaceutical studies.


The birth of the Bapuji Educational Association (BEA) in 1958 was a milestone in the history of, not only Davanagere, but also Karnataka. Before it was established there was little scope for higher education in Davanagere. While higher education was the BEA's focus, it also started several schools. Today, the association runs more than 45 educational institutions offering instruction from the kindergarten to the P.G. level.

One of the significant personalities associated with the BEA's development is Shamanur Shivashankarappa, who is its honorary secretary. He has been a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Davanagere since 2003 and is treasurer of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.

THE DAVANGERE UNIVERSITY. It has two constituent colleges, one autonomous college and 110 affiliated colleges offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses.-

He is also the Chairman of the Bapuji Cooperative Bank Ltd., in Davanagere. He has won several awards and honours such as an honorary D.Litt from Kuvempu University, the Shiromani Vikas award, the Indira Priyadarshini award, the Suvarna Karnataka Best Industrialist award and is a Paul Harris fellow of Rotary International.

The BEA runs several professional colleges, including the Jagadguru Jaydeva Murugharajendra Medical College (JJMMC), the Bapuji Dental College and Hospital (BDCH), the Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology (BIET), the College of Dental Sciences (CODS), the Bapuji Child Health Institute and Research Centre, the Bapuji Institute of Management Studies, the Shamanur Shivashankarappa Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Hospital, and the Rajanahalli Lakshmana Setty Law College.

The JJMMC was established in 1965 and offers U.G., P.G. and diploma courses. It is affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore. The campus, spread over 25 acres (10.1 hectares), has excellent infrastructure facilities, including lecture galleries with audio-visual facilities. The departments are adequately staffed with highly qualified and experienced faculty.

The BDCH offers several areas of specialisation for its Master of Dental Surgery (MDS) programme. They include oral medicine, diagnosis and radiology, oral and maxillofacial reconstructive surgery, pedodontics and preventive dentistry, orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics, periodontology and implantology, conservative dentistry and endodontics, prosthodontics, including crown and bridge procedures, and preventive and community dentistry and oral pathology and microbiology.

The BIET's mission is to provide the best possible technical education to its students along with values that will enable them to become able citizens. The JJMMC, the BDCH and the BIET are among the premier institutes of the BEA.


The G. Mallikarjunappa Institute of Technology (GMIT) was envisioned by the late G. Mallikarjunappa, whose son G.M. Siddeswara represents Davanagere in the Lok Sabha. The GMIT's vision is to offer quality technical education and interdisciplinary courses to develop manpower in hi-tech engineering, and bridge the development gap between urban and rural regions.

The GMIT has a 54-acre campus that is situated on the outskirts of Davanagere. It is an ISO 9001 certified institution for applying quality systems in the task of imparting technical education. Recognised by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), it is affiliated to the VTU in Belgaum. The GMIT offers courses in electronics and communication, computer science, information science, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and biotechnology. It also offers a Master of Technology degree in digital electronics.

The GMIT campus has all basic infrastructure facilities as per AICTE norms. It has hostel facilities for boys and girls and amenities such as a canteen and a cooperative society. The GMIT conducts sports competitions, cultural festivals, technical symposiums, exhibitions and industry-expert orientations where students have the scope to exhibit their talent.

S. INDUMATI, VICECHANCELLOR, Davangere University: "Holistic development is the mission of the university."-

The GMIT offers an MBA programme. The programme's philosophy can be summed up thus: dedication, determination and direction to develop dynamic managers to face global competition. The programme offers specialisation in marketing, finance and human resource. The placement track of the GMIT has grown impressively, from 30 per cent placement in 2005, to 45 per cent in 2006 and 78 per cent in 2007. Companies such as Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam, Siemens, Huawei Technologies and Jindal Steels have recruited from here.

S.G. Hiremath, Principal, said: The management encourages all student activities. We award students who secure more than 90 per cent in the semester exams with 10 grams of gold each. This is a novel way to encourage performance. The GMIT also wants to venture into new disciplines of study and has undertaken a feasibility study on this.

Davangere University

Davangere University (D.U.), was established in August 2009 by upgrading what was a P.G. centre of the University of Mysore (1979 to 1987) and subsequently Kuvempu University (1987 to 2009).

The university, located close to the town of Davanagere, is one of the youngest universities in the State and colleges in Chitradurga and Davanagere are affiliated to it.

The D.U. has a distinctive academic profile, for it integrates contemporary needs with the region's social ethos. It has two constituent colleges, one autonomous college and 110 affiliated colleges offering U.G. and P.G. courses in various disciplines to more than 40,000 students.

The university offers programmes in arts, science and technology, commerce and management, engineering, and education. It has seven P.G. departments in the main campus offering programmes in economics, commerce, accounting and finance, management, biochemistry, food technology, microbiology, social work and education.

It also offers a P.G. diploma in Financial Services. M.Phil and PhD programmes are offered by all the departments. This academic year (2010-11), the university has introduced P.G. courses in Kannada, English, history, sociology, political science, physics, chemistry, mathematics and bioinformatics. Besides this, five programmes will be offered at the Chitradurga P.G. Centre.

The D.U. also has good laboratory facilities for biochemistry/food technology and microbiology courses. The thrust areas for research in these departments are cancer biology, nanobiotechnology, plant biotechnology, microbial diversity and environmental biotechnology. The university is recognised by the University Grants Commission.

According to Professor S. Indumati, its Vice-Chancellor: the University aims to have an inclusive and sustainable approach for enhancing the quality of higher education. Holistic, human- and environment-centred development is the mission of the university.

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