Maintaining that education and knowledge are no longer the prerogatives of the western world, the President of Nanyang Technologic al University, Dr. Bertil Andersson stressed that research is the frontline of knowledge and that leading universities and institutions get to the top by having right leadership and vision. SRM University conferred the Doctorate of Science (Honoris Causa) on Dr. Andersson at a Special Convocation at the Kattankulathur Campus.
“Academics is just no longer confined to the heavy weights of Europe and America. Institutions in Asia have started marking their presence. Knowledge has become global”, Dr. Andersson said going on to make the point that strides made by Singapore in the realm of education is by no means a small achievement as two of its Universities are in the top global ratings. “NTU is an inspiration to Asia and India” he said. “In the future SRM will get many Nobel prizes”, he remarked.
A plant biochemist of international repute Andersson has authored more than 300 papers in research pertaining to photosynthesis, biological membranes, protein and membrane purification and light stress on plants. Educated at Umea and Lund Universities of Sweden, Professor Anderson was installed as NTU’s Third President in 2011. Currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation, Dr. Anderson has been a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry (chairing it in 1997).Small ideas go on to make bigger things said Dr. Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, USA who was also conferred with Doctorate of Literature (Honoris Causa). “The Founder Chancellor of SRM University is now seeing the fruits of his ideas. He started a small and fledgling institution. Now it is a great University. It is ideas of this kind that are critical for Tamil Nadu, India and the world” Dr. Dirks said stressing that Universities not only produce knowledge but are also guardians to make the world a better place.
An anthropologist, Dr. Dirks is a prolific writer of books, articles and papers and his fascination has been with India and the state of Tamil Nadu. Proficient in Tamil, Dr. Dirks has focused on different aspects of Tamils and Tamil Nadu including the cinematics of Tamil Political Culture, Marriage and Rank in Tamil Kinship, Rituals and Resistance are some of the themes he has spoken at international forums. The University of California at Berkeley started off as a small idea but today it is one of the top five Universities, Dr. Dirks remarked. “There will be greater cooperation between SRM University and the University of California at Berkeley” he said.
The Chancellor of SRM University Dr. T.R. Paarivendhar presided over the Special Convocation.
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