MP Pratap Simha takes University of Mysore officials to task over administrative procedures
Mysore/Mysuru: Fresh hurdles are impeding the setting up of the office of ‘Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada’ (CESCK) in Mysuru and this issue came up during a meeting at the University of Mysore where Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha expressed his disappointment over the delay.
A visibly upset MP said that the University of Mysore (UoM) was not giving its consent to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the Kannada and Culture Department, to set up the CESCK at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Manasagangothri.
The meeting was held yesterday with the acting Vice-chancellor of the University of Mysore Prof. H. Rajashekar and Registrar V.R. Shylaja held at the Academic Council Hall in Crawford Hall which was also attended by the members of Varsity Syndicate. The MP took severe exception to the recent moves of the varsity.
“Even after Kannada and Culture Department and Higher Education Department gave their approval, after the Syndicate of the University of Mysore approved the proposal to enter into an MoU for a certain period to set up CESCK at Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, how fair it is to seek approval again by preparing the new MoU formats in Kannada and English,” asked Simha.
“We know how cumbersome it is to knock on the doors of officers again and again to seek their consent,” bemoaned MP Pratap Simha.
“Eight years have elapsed since the Kannada language got the status of Classical Language, but still the Centre does not have its own building. The previous Congress Government had made a bid to shift the Centre to Bengaluru. However, in 2019 when C.T. Ravi became Kannada and Culture Minister, a decision was taken to retain CESCK in Mysuru and also grant funds for constructing its own building. There were also discussions about allotting four acres of land for the office building at Manasagangothri,” explained Simha.
Taking into cognisance the time consumed in constructing the new building, it was decided to repair and make use of the dilapidated Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion and the approvals were also taken along with the signing of the MoU. But still, why is the University of Mysore authorities not giving their go-ahead to utilise the Mansion for the said purpose? questioned MP Pratap Simha.
As per the MoU, apart from utilising Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion that comes under the ambit of the varsity, by CESCK, coming under the Department of Kannada and Culture, the structure of the mansion will be repaired if the Kannada Centre comes up here.
The Chief Minister had even approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared in this regard seeking funds of Rs. 27.5 crore. After the repair works, one part of the mansion will be utilised for the functioning of the Centre and the remaining parts by the Varsity. In case of any violation of strictures mentioned in the MoU, the agreement can be revoked, said MP Simha in his bid to convince the authorities.
Registrar Shylaja said “While seeking the approval of the University Syndicate, we haven’t sought a legal opinion. So, a fresh MoU has been prepared and the approval will be taken at the Syndicate. As a Folklore Museum is housed in the Mansion, an MoU has been made to seek funds from Deccan Heritage for the conservation of folk artefacts. Hence, there is no provision to allow the use of the Mansion for other purposes.”
Irked over the explanation of the Registrar, Pratap Simha asked “How correct it is to push the Mansion towards annihilation in the name of conservation of artefacts (at Folklore Museum). What we need is only four rooms, while the other rooms can be used by you (Varsity). Please work towards saving the Kannada language, as most of the parts of the Mansion is damaged due to film shooting.”
Simha who lost his cool, further said “In a way, efforts are being made to save the gift (Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion) of Mysore Maharajas by setting up CESCK at the Mansion. It is strenuous to seek the approvals for MoUs often as IAS officers too question these lines.”
Vote and politics
Seeking to clarify that he doesn’t have any political interests behind the matter, Simha said “Being one among Kannada writers, I am just doing my bit towards the progress of the Kannada language. I won’t get any votes from this.”
Intervening, acting VC Prof. Rajashekar said “The reputation of the Varsity will also go high if CESCK starts functioning at the Mansion. It will also benefit our students and give a fillip to the progress of Kannada language and research works. A decision will be taken in this regard, in two days.” Kannada and Culture Department Joint Director V.N. Mallikarjuna Swamy, Deputy Director Sudarshan and Syndicate members were present.
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