President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday laid the foundation stone for the Dr B.R. Ambedkar School of Economics in the Bengaluru University campus on the 126th birth anniversary of the architect of the Indian Constitution.
"As the principal architect of the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar was the first Indian to receive a Doctorate from the London School of Economics," said Mukherjee in his address at the event in the state secretariat here.
Noting that there had been significant expansion in the infrastructure of education in the country, he said, however, several students go abroad for higher learning every year.
"It is important to create institutes of international repute in the country to attract students and teachers from the world over as was the case in ancient India when we had universities like Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramshila," he said.
The President hoped that the new School would be another feather in the cap of Bengaluru, which has made a mark in the IT, BT, banking and industrial sectors.
"Education institutions named after Baba Saheb are a befitting tribute to Ambedkar who was also a great economist and a committed advocate of universal education."
Terming Ambedkar a legendary figure with a multifaceted personality, the President said he was the harbinger of dedication and commitment for the poor and deprived and had attached great importance to education as it was a means to change one's destiny.
Governor Vajubhai Vala said Karnataka was the best environmental place for education and health.
"The present generation have their education here and work for other countries, but Ambedkar studied abroad and served the nation," he said.
The Karnataka government has sanctioned Rs 150 crore for setting up the school's first phase, with an administrative block, student hostels, auditorium, three seminar halls and quarters for the faculty.
The state government intends to run the School as an autonomous institution of international standard.
Anup K. Pujari (IAS retired) is the special officer of the School which will begin admissions for the academic year 2017-18.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar and state Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande were among the dignitaries present at the event.
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