The University of Mumbai has begun working on a proposal to digitise documents associated with all its famous alumni. In a meeting held last Friday, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant had announced that the government was keen on digitising documents belonging to famous personalities to aid researchers and in order to celebrate the varsity’s rich history.
Mumbai University pro-vice chancellor Dr Ravindra Kulkarni confirmed that discussion and research has been initiated on the proposal which will soon be submitted to the state government.
Presently, documents of Dr B R Ambedkar, who was a faculty at MU’s Sydenham College, are in process for digitisation after the varsity received funding through a city welfare group.
Samant is learnt to have said that while CSR funds can be used for revamp of the varsity, digitisation of heritage documents will be funded by the government.
Mahatma Gandhi, Dadabhai Naoroji, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, P V Narasimha Rao, L K Advani, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Anant Pai, Ranjit Hoskote, Nanabhoy Palkhivala, Vijaya Mehta, Anand Patwardhan and Dr Anil Kakodkar, among others, have been associated with MU.
The varsity may also consider opening up its iconic heritage structures Rajabai Clock Tower and Convocation Hall to tourists. The Clock Tower has been awarded UNESCO Asia-Pacific award for cultural heritage.
Presently, only library officials are allowed to enter the Clock Tower, whereas the Convocation Hall is used for the annual degree distribution ceremony and for official meetings.
A discussion on this is expected between varsity officials.
Yuva Sena members including Dhanraj Kohachade and Pradeep Sawant, LLM visiting faculty Shomit Salunkhe and members of Rashtriya Bahujan Vidyarthi Parishad Sachin Bansode and Sandeep Kedare have been demanding since over two years that these structures be partially opened to the tourists.
”Everyday, several tourists stand outside the varsity wanting to go inside but are stopped by the security. Even Bombay High Court is opened to heritage walks for limited time. Why can’t the same be applicable to the varsity for Saturday and Sunday mornings? This will also help varsity in revenue generation,” said Salunkhe.
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