In 1960, a major development was the conglomeration of all the post-graduate studies of the University at one location. Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar gifted the sprawling lands in Vijayasripura area on the outskirts of Mysore, when Prof. N.A.Nikam was the Vice-Chancellor.
But, the post-graduate campus got its unique identity during the tenure of the Vice-Chancellorship of Dr. K.V. Puttappa, poet laureate popularly known as ‘Kuvempu’. The honour of christening the just coming up post-graduate centre as "Manasa Gangotri" goes to this poet, author of the magnum opus “Ramayana Darshanam”. ‘Manasa Gangotri’ means ‘eternal spring of the mind’.
The campus, located in the idyllic area and adjacent to Kukkarahalli Lake that has inspired many writers, lies within the heart of the heritage city of Mysore in a picturesque area of 739 acres. The creation of Manasa Gangotri, bringing together the entire post-graduate department in one campus, was a unique event in the annals of the University. This example has been emulated by other Universities in Karnataka.
The year 1966 was commemorated as the Golden Jubilee year of the University. The celebrations were inaugurated at a colourful function by none other than the President of India, Dr. S.Radhakrishnan, who was Professor of Philosophy in the Maharaja’s College earlier.
Dr.K.L. Shrimali, former Union Education Minister, who was the Vice-Chancellor,
said on the occasion, “The University during these 50 years has established rich and noble traditions of scholarship, of efficiency in service, and of those graces of living that are the hallmarks of truly educated behavior. These traditions are now our precious heritage. We can look back with pardonable pride that the University of Mysore has in the past been a magnificent arena where generations of eager and earnest students have profited themselves immeasurably by contacts with their teachers, who, by and large, have been second to none in their scholarship and devotion to the cause of education.”
Today, the University has 42 postgraduate departments at the main campus, Manasa Gangotri, two postgraduate centres at Tubinakere in neighbouring Mandya district and Hemagangotri in Hassan with five post-graduate departments each and one satellite centre at Chamarajanagar with three post-graduate departments.
What began as a small institution imparting higher learning to a small section of students, the Mysore University today is providing higher education to about 85,000 students, who comprise over 10,000 post-graduates. It is shaping itself into a global varsity having attracted as many as 1,400 students from 50 countries for higher studies. Some of these countries are China, Iran, Jordan, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Kajkhastan, Mongolia, Uganda, Yemen, Kenya, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
While adopting and realising the policy of inclusive growth, creating opportunities to every deserving person, a variety of new courses and programmes have been introduced to meet the emerging needs of technology and new areas in sciences needed to develop human resources. In addition, career-oriented courses are also being offered.
The University has developed excellent infrastructure for curricular and co-curricular activities. The University Library has a collection of 6.2 lakh books, reference works and journal back volumes. In addition, the individual constituent colleges, institutes and departments maintain their own collections of another four lakh books. The E-resource portal developed by the library facilitates access over 13,000 e-journals and 17,000 e-books, besides a number of databases, e-thesis, institutional repositories and other information sources.
The main campus features an amphitheater, an auditorium, a swimming pool, hostels for women and men with modern amenities and comforts and ‘Gangotri Glades’, the cricket stadium.
Thanks to the donation made by two brothers W L Crawford and C S Crawford, the beautiful Crawford Hall was built. It houses the administrative section and the convocation hall of the University. Close to the Crawford Hall is the Oriental Research Institute of the University, architecturally a unique building, which has a collection of over 12,000 books and 10,000 manuscripts, comprising rare and exquisitely illustrated ones, including the prestigious ‘Arthashastra,’ a treatise on Indian polity, economics and administration by Kautilya of the 4th century BC.
Another eye-catching building in ‘Manasa Gangotri’ campus is the Jayalakshmivilas Mansion, a former Palace building, which houses the varsity's folklore museum that throws light on the folk culture of Karnataka.
After assessing its overall performance, Mysore University has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). ‘Current Science; has ranked the University as a top 20 university in scientific and research activities. The Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India has considered the University as an `Institution of Excellence’ and has awarded special grant of Rs.100 crore for establishing a centre of excellence in ``Biodiversity, Bio-prospecting and Sustainable Development’’ and also to strengthen infrastructural facilities. On recommendation of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission, the Karnataka Government has considered the University as an “Innovative University”.
Recently, the University Grants Commission has awarded ‘University with Potential for Excellence (UPE)’ status and extended financial assistance of Rs.50 crore for research activities and holistic development.
Mysore University can also take pride in the establishment of a number of universities across the State, acting as a mother-university. While adopting the policy of inclusive growth and to create opportunities to every person seeking knowledge, a variety of new courses and programmes on emerging technology and science subjects have been introduced to meet the emerging needs of the society and to develop human resources that the country needs.
Its students have stood out in India and elsewhere across the globe. They have rendered or continuing to render top-notch service. They have achieved distinction and recognition, merit and awards. To mention a few among them are Maharaja Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail, former Reserve Bank of India Governor H.V.R.Iyengar, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha S.V.Krishna Murthy Rao, former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court Nittoor Srinivasa Rao, renowned Librarian B.S.Keshavan, international fame English writer R.K.Narayan and his brother and reputed cartoonist R.K.Lakshman, ex-Vice-Chancellors Dr. K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu), Dr. D.Javare Gowda, renowned scientists C.N. R. Rao and V.S. Arunachalam, N.R.Narayana Murthy, who pioneered information technology (I.T.) revolution in the country, former Chief Ministers S.Nijalingappa and K.Hanumanthaiya, acclaimed musicians and dramatists like Pandit Taranath and K.V.Subbanna, renowned writers like U.R.Ananthamurthy and many more. Among them is the father of the modern Kannada lexicon, G. Venkatasubbayya, a centenarian.
After coming out from the portals of the University, many have served or serving in diversified fields in India and abroad occupying prestigious and high-ranking positions. They include Ministers, High Court Judges, Civil servants, media persons, members of Parliament and State Legislature, and Union and State Ministers.
Smt. D.Kanakalakshamma was the first lady graduate, Smt. D.Venkatasubbamma, the first lady medical graduate, Smt. Vijayalakshmi and Smt. Sharada, the first two lady law graduates and Smt. Ranganayaki, the first lady engineering graduate of the University of Mysore.
During the last 100 years, many eminent personalities from across the globe have visited the University. Among them are M.A.Jinnah, the architect of Pakistan. Dr. C.F.Andrews, Sarat Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore.
Leading luminaries like Dr. Annie Besant, Sir, P.C. Ray, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Sir C.V. Raman, Pandit Amarnath Jha, Sir Bartram Stevens and Sir Lakshmana Swamy Mudaliar, Sir C.P.Ramaswamy, John Kenneth Galbraith, D.S. Kothari, and Dr. Zakir Hussain, Jayaprakash Narayan and many other reputed personalities have delivered convocation addresses.
The University has honoured Lord Irwin, C.Rajagopalachari, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Sir M.Visvesvaraya, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sir C.V.Raman, V.K.Krishna Menon, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, Dr. S.Chandra Shekar, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Dr. Raj Kumar, ‘Kuvempu’ and many other celebrities by conferring honorary degrees on them.
Hundred years is a milestone in the history of any institution. On the threshold of this milestone, University of Mysore can look back with pride and satisfaction over its achievement in spreading knowledge to hundreds of boys and girls who from the days of its inception have occupied prestigious positions and won national and international acclaim, bringing laurel to themselves and to their alma mater. During these 100 years, the University has stood by its objective and vision of its founding fathers, and its motto ‘nahi jnanena sadrusham’ acting as a shining guide for thousands of students.
In the words of the present Vice-Chancellor, Prof. K.S.Rangappa, who has planned the centenary celebrations on a grand scale and in a unique manner with a number of ambitious projects to commemorate the occasion: “Our University has produced eminent personalities – men of excellence and globally acclaimed personalities. It has won national status and international recognition, achieving academic excellence. Now, our vision is to take it to the global level, make it an international level academic centre.”