A team of esteemed academicians are currently working towards establishing a non-profit university in Belagavi, which will be crowdfunded by the public to be named Bhaskara University. The university will offer training and research in liberal arts and humanities, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The institution will be named after Bhaskara Acharya, an ancient mathematician, following a suggestion by Sri Siddheshwara Swami of Vijayapura.
This multi-subject university will operate on modern pedagogic styles and will have schools dedicated to various disciplines. Students will have the freedom to choose from a wide range of subjects under the transferable credit and lateral entry system.
Tamraparni Venkatesh, a retired mathematician from Rani Channamma University and founder of the Mathematical Sciences Institute in Belagavi, is the convener for the proposed university.
Promoters have launched a crowdfunding campaign to gather resources for the establishment of Bhaskara University. Professor Venkatesh and his wife, Veena Tamraparni, recently visited the United States and met with members of the Indian community in various cities. These individuals included teachers, research scholars, IT professionals, and entrepreneurs. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Prof Venkatesh even had the opportunity to meet with Fields Medal winners and other scientists who have agreed to share their knowledge with the students and faculty of Bhaskara University.
The team of promoters includes educationists J V Ramana Raju, B D Kumbar, and Gururaj Mahajan, as well as retired judge Justice Abdul Nazeer, motivational speaker Gururaj Karjagi, and former representative of the government of Karnataka at New Delhi Shankargouda Patil, who serve as advisors for the proposed university.
According to Venkatesh, “Bhaskara University will be very different from traditional universities. It will have schools like Literary and Historical Studies and Linguistics and translations, in liberal arts and Basic and applied sciences in STEM.” The university has already begun a series of online and offline lectures on mathematics and sciences, with renowned mathematicians such as number theorist Ken Ono delivering talks.
To ensure the success of this ambitious project, several committees have been formed to chart the way forward. These include the infrastructure development committee, the finance committee, a general advisory body, and a committee to form academic and executive councils.
The infrastructure committee is currently tasked with identifying suitable land and buildings for the university. To this end, they are exploring various options, including land grants and donations in units of Rs 10.
The crowdfunding model will have
for a donation of land, money, or books.
Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so by donating single or multiple units of Rs 10, which will be treated as one square foot of land, one kilogram of grain, or one book. There will be no normalization factor for any of these contributions across the counter. A similar scheme is also being introduced to provide scholarships to deserving students.
Recently, the promoters met with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to discuss their proposal. Prof Venkatesh reports that the Chief Minister appreciated their intentions and preparatory efforts and has assured them of his support. The draft proposal submitted to the Chief Minister’s office has been redirected to the Karnataka State Higher Education Council, and the promoters have been directed to file an application based on the revised UGC guidelines of 2017. They are currently in the process of submitting a detailed draft proposal in accordance with these guidelines after paying the necessary fees.
Overall, the establishment of this new university is an exciting development for the region, and it is heartening to see so many people coming together to make it a reality. With the right infrastructure, funding, and academic leadership, this university has the potential to become a world-class institution that drives innovation and progress in a wide range of fields.