Pandemic once again ‘delays’ varsity’s museum project

It was announced when the University of Mysore celebrated its centenary five years ago

The University of Mysore’s ambitious project of establishing a museum in commemoration of its centenary has once again been delayed because of the continuing pandemic situation. This comes even as a few design agencies and architects have come up with concepts to narrate the glorious history of one of the country’s oldest universities.

The museum was conceptualised to showcase various aspects of the culture, heritage and history of the university, which celebrated its centenary five years ago. The museum was one of the centenary projects and the university was finalising the museum concept.

Actually, the University wanted to give a start to the project in July last year after the lockdown curbs were eased. However, the project could not make any major headway last year though the University wanted not to delay the already-delayed project anymore.

The building for housing the museum has been constructed at a cost of ₹3.75 crore with a total built-up area of 14,738 sq.ft, near B. N. Bahadur Institute of Management Studies on the campus. The university also had plans to expand the building to make it even more spacious.

“One agency cited a whopping budget of ₹16 crore to execute the work while a couple of others quoted ₹8 crore and ₹10 crore respectively. We have thought of consulting a few others who could do it for our budget and finalise the best concept,” said Vice-Chancellor G. Hemantha Kumar.

He told The Hindu that the museum will become a reality soon as the university is firm on completing the last remaining centenary projects. “We could have finalised the concept but the pandemic delayed it as we could not consult others for ideas. The project will happen since the building is ready. Expression of interest will be called again. More experts in the field will be engaged soon to give visitors a unique experience,” he said.

Founded by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1916, UoM is the sixth oldest university in the country and the oldest in the State. The university took off from Maharaja’s College and the courses were moved to the Manasagangotri campus in 1960.

The university had proposed to make it a one-stop facility for getting into key information for researchers, professionals and students with sections such as ‘origin, history and the royal patronage’, ‘glorious growth of 100 years’, ‘eyes on the stars’, and ‘mending milestones’.

According to the museum’s concept note, the project was proposed as India’s first thematic and interactive museum of a centenary-old university, enabling effective content delivery and user interaction by employing modern techniques such as touchscreen terminals to illustrate the exhibits and multi-media systems to render documentary videos. The museum model should be a blend of traditional and modern methods of exhibiting items chronicling the origin, growth and development of the university, besides the exemplary contributions and academic achievements in 100 years.

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