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Featured: H. V. Nanjundaiah Page 2 of 3
Nanjundaiah drew up a long list of names of illustrious scholars and teachers from Universities and Colleges across the country, who could be invited to chair departments at the nascent University of Mysore. Nanjundaiah was made the Chairman of the Committee constituted to oversee the setting up of the University in April, 1916. This position came just in time to H. V. Nanjundaiah as he had recently retired from Government Service and had initially contemplated applying to various other Universities for teaching positions in his 56th year of life. By July of 1916, he was elevated to the post of Vice Chancellor of the new University.
H. V. Nanjundaiah, on more than one occasion had remarked that a nation’s true progress stems forth not from its economic prosperity or Industrial development, but more so from its prevalent culture of education and learning, for, this is what moulds minds as well as characters of her future leaders. In this spirit, the motto of the University was coined as “Na hi Jnanena Sadrusham” (roughly translated to English: Nothing is equal to Knowledge). The estimated cost of founding the University was fifteen lakhs. The college at Bangalore was dedicated mainly to the Sciences while the colleges at Mysore focussed exclusively on Humanities subjects.
Sir Harcourt Butler was entrusted with the initial inspection of the budding University. Butler was greatly impressed with the ground work done by H. V. Nanjundaiah. At the end of the week-long inspection, as part of the farewell planned for him, H. V. Nanjundaiah got none other than Veena Sheshanna to perform for a private audience. It was indeed a memorable adieu and Butler gave a favourable report for the new University of Mysore.
The University of Mysore which started in 1916 became autonomous in 1917. The Administrative Hierarchy was thus: Maharaja was the Chancellor, H. V. Nanjundaiah was the Vice Chancellor, An Oversight Committee of nine members (six of whom had to be from the Educational Field), the University Senate and the Board of Studies for academic matters.
Much needed to be decided upon at this stage. Entrance exams for students wishing to gain admission to the University, desired duration of various courses, list of subjects deemed optional, designs for the classrooms, integration of the evening colleges into the University, establishment of Libraries, allotment of student stipends, construction of hostels, sports infrastructure, swimming pools, staff quarters and museums were few of the pressing concerns that had to be dealt with on a priority basis. The first senate meeting was held at the end of 1916.
Some eminent names came to grace various departments in the Universities. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was invited from Madras University to teach Philosophy and he came over in March of 1918. Radha Kumud Mukherjee, K. T. Shah and A. R. Wadia were also invited to head departments. From within the state, personalities like B. M. Srikantaiah, R. Narasimhachar, N. S. Subba Rao, M. Hiriyanna, Sampath Kumaran, Venkatesachar and C. R. Narayan Rao were appointed to various departments. M. Denham was the first Registrar of the University. B. M. Srikantaiah would succeed Denham for this post. Anderson, Rollo, Macintosh and Metcalfe were some of the Europeans who were invited from Pachiyappa’s College to the University. The above list in itself, bears testament to the exhaustive groundwork done by Nanjundaiah in selecting some of the finest minds of his time to teach in the new University.
Two awards were instituted in Nanjundaiah’s name. For the highest scoring student in M. A. in University of Mysore, the ‘Raja Mantra Praveena H. V. Nanjundaiah Gold Medal’ was to be awarded.
13 Oct. 1860
Wesleyan Mission High School,
Madras Christian College.
Law, Administration, Educational Sciences, Ethography, Kannada Language & Literature.
Kannada Sahitya Parishath, University of Mysore, Maharani College
First Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore
Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE),
University of Mysore Logo
For the best outgoing student from Maharani College, the ‘Annapurnamma Gold Medal’ was instituted. H. V. Nanjundaiah was an examiner for various courses at Calcutta University. The Maharaja was invited to be the Chancellor of the Banaras University. Subsequently, the Maharaja was made an honorary member of the Royal Colonial Institute. On both these occasions, the Maharaja is believed to have sought special advice from Nanjundaiah before accepting these positions.
Among the writers he loved most were Francis Bacon, Thomas Carlyle and Tennyson. He authored many books in his time. “Lekhya Bodhana” (Guide to Writing), “Vyavahara Deepike” (1890) [Guide to Law and Administration] – dedicated to Sri Chama Rajendra Wodeyar, “Arthashastra” (1901) [Economics] – published in ‘Madras Religion & Moral Education’ Journal, “Anglo-Indian Empire” (1915) and “Vyavahara Dharmashastra” (1917) – dedicated to Nalwadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar are a few of them. H. V. Nanjundaiah was invited to the Delhi Durbar of 1911 which was held in commemoration of the coronation of George V held in London a few months back. In 1913, he was conferred the title of ‘Rajamantra Praveena’. In 1914, Viceroy Charles Hardinge bestowed on Nanjundaiah the Companion of the Indian Empire (C. I. E.). Though his mother tongue was Telugu, Nanjundaiah was an avid proponent of Kannada language & literature. He was among the pioneers of the Kannada Sahitya Parishath in 1915. Apart from Nanjundaiah, Karpura Sreenivasa Rao, Achyuta Rao and B. M. Srikantaiah were among its founding members.