BASE will be on par with LSE: G T Devegowda

BENGALURU: After widespread criticism against ambitious plans of developing Bengaluru Dr B.R. Amedkar School of Economics (BASE) on the lines of London School of Economics (LSE) by the previous government at the time of school’s inception, Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda on Tuesday reiterated that the institution will indeed be developed to be on par with the prestigious LSE. Addressing the media at the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) headquarters after the sixth Governing Council meeting of BASE, he said that a full-time director will be appointed shortly to start implementing the comprehensive action plan to develop the institute.

“The Governing Council has been strengthened with leading experts to ensure our plans and directives are met. The Social Welfare Department too has promised to allocate `50 lakh for the development of the institute,” he said.  Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge was also present at the Council Meeting.
Former Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montel Singh Ahluwalia, former RBI Governor Dr C. Rangarajan, Infosys Foundation Chairperson Sudha Murty and Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are among the members who were added recently into the 18-member Governing Council.

According to the Governing Council, ten guest lecturers have addressed the students since former PM Manmohan Singh flagged off the first academic session of the institute last October. They include Dr Shirin Madon (LSE), Dr Anjan Mukerji (Professor Emeritus, JNU), Dr Ranjini C.R (Lancaster University, UK) and Prof. Sandeep Shastri (VC of Jain University).

Awareness among students
BASE now holds a 60:40 seat-sharing reservation for domicile and non-domicile students for each 50-seat batch. Special invitee to the Governing Council and educationist Vasanth Horatti said campaigns will be taken up to make students in the state aware of the institute and to increase domicile admissions. “Many don’t know that such a world-class institute exists in the state. Contrarily, more admissions are being sought from applicants outside the state,” he told Deccan Chronicle.

Independent space from April 2019
Currently functioning out of makeshift infrastructure on Jnanabharathi campus of Bangalore University, the institute is expected to work from its own premises from April 2019, BASE CEO M.B. Dyaberi said. “The infrastructure is coming up on 43.35 acres of land provided to us. It will have student hostels as all BASE programmes are residential. Now, we have 99 students from two years, for which four core full-time faculty members are available. For students, we have made temporary paying guest arrangements next to NLSIU Nagarbhavi campus,” he said.

Minister donates 2-month salary
Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda announced that he will dedicate his two-month salary, one each for the flood-affected Kodagu and Kerala. Mr Devegowda, the first cabinet minister to do so, appreciated the efforts put in by higher education institutions and universities across the state in lending a helping hand to the flood-affected. 

“All teaching and non-teaching staff of all state varsities, colleges and polytechnics have pledged their one-day salary. The donations made by PES University Chancellor Doreswamy (`1.5 crore), BU VC Dr K.R. Venugopal (Rs 2 lakh), students of Tumkur University (`2,43,000) and students of BU (`25 lakh) towards helping Kodagu should be appreciated,” he said, asking people to make contributions generously towards the noble cause.

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