MAHARASHTRA CHIEF Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while inaugurating a 12.5-ft statue of Rajashree Shahu Maharaj denoting inclusive education at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), said it was time to make the campus an innovation hub and that the state will support the university in achieving this dream on all fronts.
Calling SPPU ‘the pride of Maharashtra’, he said the state will seriously consider setting up sub-campuses and on request of vice-chancellor Wasudeo Gade, promised to expedite the process of setting up sub-campuses soon.
Fadnavis said that a committee has been set up to prepare the norms for setting up sub-campuses that are currently not available. “Once that is done, setting up sub-campuses will become a seamless process. We will give you all the support needed,” assured Fadnavis.
“The strong youth force can lead in making the Prime Minister’s call for ‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’ a reality. These youth have unlimited potential, they are innovators and only need opportunity which we hope Pune University will provide. Also, this city is the IT hub and full of innovators,” said Fadnavis.
“Today the university has 694 colleges affiliated to it with over 7 lakh students. Decentralisation through the process of setting up sub-campus in Nashik and Nagpur will help greatly in managing affairs,” said Gade.
Speaking about Shahu Maharaj, Fadnavis spoke on the former’s ideals of inclusiveness. The CM said that as a king, Shahu Maharaj ensured that he opened the coffers to fund education to the poor and believed in equality of both sexes. Lauding the varsity authorities in installing the statue of Shahu Maharaj, he said this will serve as an inspiration for students. He asked the varsity authorities to follow the ideals of the late king and build more student hostels allowing students from rural areas to live and study here. He promised to ensure financial help to the varsity in building hostels for boys and girls.
“The biggest tribute to Shahu Maharaj is to make education available to all,” said Fadnavis. The 12.5 ft high bronze statue has been designed by renowned sculptor S B Pardeshi.
Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor also asked Chief Minister to consider increasing faculty positions which have remained unchanged for two decades and strengthen the Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University (BATU) that will soon handle all work related to engineering colleges in state but is unequipped to do so.