JALUKBARI, Aug 8 - Padma Vibhushan award winning space scientist Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan and renowned nephrologist and renal surgeon Dr Sarbeswar Saharia were conferred the honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, while artist Neel Pawan Baruah was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy along with noted theatre personality Sukracharjya Rabha (posthumously), at the 27th convocation of the Gauhati University today, in recognition of their valuable contributions in their respective fields.
Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi, who is also the Chancellor of GU, presided over the convocation. In his address he said, �Gauhati University is the result of collective dreams and aspirations of the people, which has been a leader in higher education since inception. This university has been marked with fine scholarship, strong values, good work ethics and a desire on the part of its faculty and students to reach new heights. The university has created writers, performing artistes, eminent lawyers, scientists, journalists, administrators and legislators among its alumni and I hope the coming generation will follow in their footsteps.�
He however expressed concern at GU�s drop in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking from 27 to 39. He urged the university to identify the areas where there are lacunae and address those judiciously. Talking about the challenges of higher education in India and in Assam he said, �Even as we take pride in the achievement of this glorious institution, we must pause a while to consider what the future demands of us.�
Dr Kasturirangan in his address as chief guest, said, �Gauhati University, the oldest and largest university in North East India, has striven to steadily make its mark in the academic community since its inception and I hope that it continues to be the leading teaching and research institution of North East.� He further said that the challenges that universities face in the wake of globalisation are enormous, and what acquires importance in this context, is the quality of education that is imparted by these centres of learning.
The pursuit of academic and intellectual excellence is central to and at the heart of all university education. He also advocated emphasis on liberal education which would develop the freedom to think critically and independently, to cultivate one�s mind to its full potential and liberate oneself from prejudice, superstition and dogma.
GU Vice Chancellor Dr Mridul Hazarika in his address said, �Every vice chancellor has to make an assessment of the institution he or she is undertaking to lead, understand its history, discover its potential, evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and finally make a realistic call on how much it is possible to achieve in the time available.�
Over 600 successful students of the GU were awarded degrees at the convocation.
At the convocation, Mahamahopadhyaya Biswanarayan Shastri Gold Medal instituted by GU with support from the family of renowned Sanskrit scholar and writer Dr Biswanarayan Shastri, was presented to Mridusmita Bharadwaj who secured the highest marks in Sanskrit in the GU�s PG examination of 2017.