Former students and teachers of Rani Channamma University will organise several programmes throughout the year to mark the anniversary of the university which was earlier called the Belgaum Campus of Karnatak University in Dharwad.
The event, Belgaum Campus@40, will include guest lectures, alumni meet and get-togethers for former teachers and staff.
The organising committee also plans to organise a seminar on the “Status of higher education” and “A roadmap for the university”.
The intention behind the event is not a jubilant celebration but to plan for the future, said Tamraparni Venkatesh, chairman of the organising committee and former professor of mathematics.
“Our paramount interest is to see how the university will develop as a world-class institution and how the people of Belagavi and others who have stakes in higher education benefit from it,” he said.
An all-India convention on “Universities for next generation learners: Our stand” will be held, Prof. Venkatesh said.
Higher Education Minister M.C. Sudhakar and district in-charge Minister Satish Jarkiholi will attend the celebrations. However, the date of inauguration is yet to be confirmed.
The decision to set up the Karnatak University Dharwad post-graduate campus in Belagavi was taken in a Cabinet meeting held in Belagavi in 1982 by then Chief Minister R. Gundu Rao. Then, the institution began functioning under the guidance of then Vice-Chancellor D.M. Nanjundappa on the Kalabhavan campus in Tilakwadi.
At first, seven post-graduate departments with science, social science, commerce and two languages, Kannada and Marathi, were started. Students were admitted to courses in sociology, economics and geography, mathematics, commerce and Kannada and Marathi.
Till the establishment of the Bagalkot University last year, Rani Channamma was the largest university with over 400 affiliated colleges in three districts of Belagavi, Vijayapura and Bagalkot.
S.M. Sarangi, professor of mathematics, was the first administrator of the Belgaum campus. Since the campus did not have land or buildings initially, classes were held in colleges run by private education societies such as KLE, KLS and SKE.
The campus office and classes for mathematics, economics, Kannada and Marathi were held on the main premises of KLE.
M.Com classes were held at KLS Gogte College of Commerce and MA Sociology and Geography were held at RPD College in Tilakwadi. Karnatak University Dharwad also borrowed human resource from the societies.
Senior faculty like S.G. Kallur, G.B. Naik, A.B .Kalkundrikar, C.S. Salimath, J.G. Naik and others taught students as invitee teachers for several years. Some temporary teachers were also appointed.
As much as 180 acres of land was identified near Bhutaramanahatti where some buildings were constructed in 1989. The State government has now decided to shift the campus to Hire Bagewadi village near the Suvarna Soudha, after the Union Forest and Environment Ministry refused to exempt the use of forest land for the construction of the university campus.
Responding to an agitation by activists headed by the seer of Naganur Math, the State government issued orders to set up the Rani Channamma university in 2010. B.R. Ananthan was the founding Vice-Chancellor.