Manipal University Board of Management has approved Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH) and Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences (MCNS) as Centres of Excellence with the Vice Chancellor as mentor.
Manipal University has grown to be a large university covering many different disciplines. Historically it was started as a teaching institution and it now has very successful teaching programs in a variety of professional disciplines. The university is aware that research and other similar activities have been compromised in this model of a teaching university.
Secondly, the university has,over the decades, focussed on professional courses in the sciences. This has led to the absence of quality programs in the social sciences and humanities. Given the state of these disciplines in India, it is indeed difficult to start programs in these disciplines which will be solely based on the teaching model. Moreover, research in pure sciences has also not been given the kind of attention it needs within this university.
Hence it makes eminent sense to create two CoEs within Manipal University,one in the field of humanities and social sciences (Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities: MCPH) and the other in the area of pure sciences (Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences: MCNS).
Thirdly, in India there are still many doubts about the role of private universities. In the Indian context, such Centres are needed within private universities since they can raise the profile of the university as well as showcase the contribution of the university to education at a national level. If the CoEs are well known then they can influence programs in other public universities in the country, thereby negating the suspicion towards private universities. Having CoEs in areas which are not the usual revenue-generating disciplines will send a strong signal to others that Manipal University looks beyond financial considerations alone. It is expected that these CoEs will also stand as a model for other public universities in their disciplines – when this happens, the profile of the university will drastically change in the perception of the public.