Aug 2, 2008
Pics: Prajwal Ukkuda
A government school which has no benches for students to sit on till class five. Located in a remote village called Sunnari in Kundapur Taluk, one has to walk many kilometres to reach the school.
You are not supposed to wear sandals even if you possess a pair because, other students do not possess footwear. A person who studied in such an environment has today reached the pinnacle of the academic field.
He is none other than Dr Ramanand Shetty, who has been appointed the vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS). Any person who completes a minimum of ten years as professor can become the vice-chancellor of a university. There are hundreds of such professors in the state, but it is Dr Shetty who has reached this coveted position.
Like other ordinary students, he was also scared of exams and postponed his exams fearing failure. But he surpassed others and through his continuous struggle and determination, became a successful prosthodontist in the state. Now he is a role model to his juniors who want to follow in his footsteps.
After completing primary and high school education in Sunnari and Koteshwar, Dr Shetty completed his PUC and BSc from Bhandarkar’s College, Kundapur. Then he joined the Government Dental College in Bangalore where he obtained his BDS degree. He did his MDS in Manipal, under Mangalore University.
Along with his teaching and medical practice, he was active in various organizations and government bodies related to the medical field. That helped him gain experience in both administration and academics. He served as a member of the academic council and syndicate in RGUHS.
Dr Shetty also had the opportunity to serve in Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Andhra Pradesh universities. The union government appointed him a member of the Dental Council of India.
Dr Shetty has outlined many plans for his tenure as vice-chancellor. According to him, mere academic experience is not enough for a vice-chancellor. He should also have the administrative experience which helps in arriving at the right decisions. Moreover, one should be honest and only then can one function without any fear, he opines.
Bringing transparency in each and every procedure of the university to maintain the dignity and decorum is the first aim of the new vice-chancellor. The university should provide leadership instead of merely issuing certificates, says Dr Shetty.
Appointing qualified librarians, strengthening research programmes in colleges, updating the syllabus and curriculum, are just a few of the projects he would like to take up. The doctor is confident of achieving his goals.
Udupi district has contributed two vice-chancellors to RGUHS and Dr Shetty is one of them. The other is his brother Dr Chandrashekhar Shetty. From a benchless school to the vice-chancellor’s chair is a great experience, says Dr Shetty.
Whether he is from the village or the city doesn’t make any difference. It is the individual’s capacity which makes a difference in life, he asserts. That has indeed proved right in his case.