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INAUGURATION OF CODE | Event Date: Tuesday, 10th, August 2021

The Inauguration of CODE: Centre for Open and Digital Education and the Unveiling of “Symphony”, the mural at the Jubilee Block was observed on 10 August 2021 at 4.30 p.m. at the Andromeda Lecture Theatre. Thiru. Dr. K. Ponmudi, Hon’ble Minister of Higher Education, Govt. of Tamil Nadu presided as the Chief Guest. Prof. M.P. Poonia, Vice Chairman, AICTE was the Guest of Honour. Col. Dr. G. Thiruvasagam, President, Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi; and Thiru. S.S. Balaji, MLA Thiruporur offered felicitations. Dr. Anand Jacob Verghese, Pro Chancellor, HITS joined virtually and conveyed his greetings. Dr. Aby Sam and Mr. Ashok Verghese, Directors, HITS; and Dr. Pon Ramalingam, Registrar, HITS were seen at the function.

The occasion commenced with the unveiling of “Symphony”, the mural at the Jubilee Block by the honourable dignitaries who have graced the event. The release of balloons on air marked the symbolic opening and the spirit of Hindustan which forever is as high and wide as the sky. Dr. S.N. Sridhara, Vice Chancellor, HITS welcomed the gatheringand gave an overview of the milestones reached by HITS. He threw light on the journey of Late Dr. K.C.G. Verghese’s life where for the most part, he met many leading ministers to establish higher education institution in India. Dr. S.N. Sridharabriefed on the accreditations attained by Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, namely Graded ‘A’ by NAAC; NBA accreditation for B.Tech. Programmes offered by Aeronautical, Automobile, Civil, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering; and all Technical Programmes accredited by AICTE.Healso highlightedthe MoUs exchanged by HITS with over 120 Universities for Students/Staff Mobility, Research, Collaborations etc.; and proudly stated a Placement record of 88.8% was achieved with the maximum salary of Rs. 15lakhs per annum this year.

Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Verghese, Chancellor, HITS in her address briefed the collaboration HITS has established with Coursera &Edx as an opportunity to learn from one of the best educators. Dr. Elizabeth drew a striking balance between the formerdistance (correspondence) education system by means of postal exchanges and the present online education system where everything is digitalized. She vehemently voiced, “CODE has been established idealizing the principle: for anyone, anywhere, at any age”. The objective of CODE through blended learning is expected to benefit students at a large scale. The pandemic has forced us to look at new light; and education is no exception” concluded Dr. Elizabeth.

Joining virtually at the inauguration, Prof. Dr. Poonia remarked, “Only 27% of learners opt for higher education in India whereas it is over 65% in foreign nations.”Expressing his dream for HITS, Prof. Poonia proposed an 8:4:2:1 student ratio i.e., 8 Vocational, 4 B.Tech., 4 M.Tech., and 1 Ph.D. programmes to be offered under the Centre. His aspirations also included provision for learning in regional language, 20 new start-ups, an exclusive Centre for Education Technology; and a Centre of Excellence in Emerging Areas.

The Unveiling of CODE Plaque was done by the Chief Guest, Dr. Ponmudi, Minister of Higher Education, Tamil Nadu. Dr. Thiruvasagam exerted that Outcome Based Education (OBE) has become a trendsetter and is undeniably a boon to learning approach. Being a student-centred approach, OBEtests learners’ knowledge, skills and attributes and augments employability prospects; and to attain this height, only Open and Digital Education can pave way. Sound infrastructure with technological aids, well-trained teachers and global acceptability are the key requirements of digital learning, pointed Prof. Thiruvasagam, and expressed his content on HITS possessing it. On wishing success to HITS, Prof. Thiruvasagam suggested HITS to collaborate with foreign universities and offer joint CODE Courses in the near future.

In the Chief Guest address, Thiru. Dr. K. Ponmudi, Hon’ble Minister of Higher Education, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, recalled an incident from his previous tenure where a team of educationists, including Mr. Ashok Verghese, travelled to China to analyze higher education under his headship as advised by Late Kalaignar Dr. M. Karunanidh, Leader of DMK. He recounted his days in early 1970s where he pursued Political Science as correspondence course. “Earlier open universities and correspondence courses were rare and a dream, but today it has become a reality and HITS has initiated the process at the right time” enunciated Dr. Ponmudi. He credited Late Dr. Karunanidhi, a pioneer for introducing several educational policies and supporting higher education. Higher education certainly develops knowledge; and as much as it does, it necessarily must also improve employment opportunities, asserted Dr. Ponmudi. Further he avowed that students from diverse backgrounds, specifically, rural areas who are economically and socially challenged will get a chance to affordable and attainable education through CODE.

Mr. Balaji, MLA, Thiruporur delivered a special message. Recounting his childhood days, he drew reminiscences of the array of flights at the HITS’ Head Office at Guindywhich had inspired him to be an Engineer, and how he is proud of visiting the institution today that has once inspired and influenced him.Dr. R. W. Alexander Jesudasan, Pro Vice Chancellor, HITSproposed the Vote of Thanks. He statedthat CODE has become a new normal of education; and expressed his merriment on noting a year-long of planning, preparation and dedication that have culminated today as a launch.He concluded by remarking, “CODE is the mode to accomplish the dream of our visionary Founder-Chairman, Late Dr. K.C.G. Verghese, To Make Every Man A Success and No Man A Failure”.

About “Symphony”

The mural, Symphony has a prominent Air Craft propeller which symbolises the flagship programme of the institution namely “Aeronautical Engineering”. The propeller blades are painted a blazing yellow which is the defining colour of the Hindustan Group. The intermeshing cog wheel gears indicate the evergreen/core engineering streams like Mechanical/Automobile Engineering taught campus. The fashionista resident in the old Norse axis of the gear wheel is an aide-mémoire of the Fashion and Design streams pioneered at Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science.

The double helical DNA/RNA stand indicate the Life Sciences/Liberal Arts programmes which are upskilled in the campus. The “Robotic Hand” emoting with the “Hand in Flesh” is indicative of the integration of the Automation streams (i.e., Robotics and Mechatronics) with the core engineering streams with the electric spark suggestive of the Electrical Engineering streams edified at Hindustan campus. The “Beehive Architecture” which doubles up as the chemical molecular structure to fulfil the most promising streams like Chemical, Bio-Sciences and the Architecture courses enlightened at HITS. The overall architecture is sprinkled with the basic molecular notations. The integration all above inter connected concepts in a fine meticulous manner symbolises the institution’s comprehensive coverage of all major streams and courses in one single location. The name for the mural “Symphony” which means a consonance of sound is a befitting name to a thoroughly conceived concept which has visually merchandised the steely resolve and unfathomable vision of the intuition.

The making of “Symphony”involved a great ordeal. All the mural items like hexagon, human & robot hand with sparkle, DNA representation, lady as a fashion icon. and letters were made up in fibre material moulded in the ground. For the above moulding work workers were assembled from northern India on campus to complete the task on time. The outer frame was made of Alumini Composite Panel. Then erection of the above items in the designated area in Jubilee Block started with the help of giant crane, and were fixed meticulously. Painting was done for mural area with lighting to give a striking look from distance.