Ansari dedicates Centenary Faculty Block at NIAS

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Bangalore, Jan 13 (UNI) Vice-President M Hamid Ansari dedicated to the nation the Centenary Faculty Block on the Campus of National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) here today.

In his inaugural address, Mr Ansari said, ''Universities have increasingly parted ways with research and development activities, even within themselves and as a result, the intellectual output of the universities leaves much to be desired.

''In the earlier days there were inter-disciplinary studies leading to cross-pollination of ideas and over a time, however, what commenced as a functional division of work tended to crystallise into rigid boundaries.

''The problem has been accentuated by the structure of our higher education system and our research institutions,'' he added.

Terming NIAS an ''oasis'', he said books, reports and working papers published by it bear testimony to the scope of work being done which was perhaps unique for an Indian academic institution.

The study of archaeomentallurgy with primatology, sociology and anthropology with nuclear and strategic issues, philosophy with astrophysics and aeronautics, rural development and gender issues, philosophy and number theory under the same roof result in new and facinating outcomes, he added.

A multi-disciplinary approach was critical to the advancement of knowledge.

Stating the pursuit of knowledge was an exercise of walking towards receding horizons, he said ''each generation makes its own judgement about the success of the endeavour.

''The important thing is to create conditions conducive to undertaking the walk,'' the Vice-President noted.

Governor Rameshwar Thakur, in his presidential address, said the success of NIAS was an example of the need for greater collaboration between public and private sectors in higher education.

''Creating institutions of global standards is a task that requires substantial and increasing financial resources. High quality research requires investment both in terms of the facilities required as well as in terms of attracting the best talent.

''At the same time, it is in the interest of industry too to ensure it does not run into knowledge barriers when it pursues its own goals,'' he added.

Earlier, NIAS Director and Scientist C N R Rao detailed the role played by the institution in the research field.

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