President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday described the last Nizam of Hyderabad State Mir Osman Ali Khan as a visionary, who founded Osmania University 100 years ago.Inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the university, the President said the Nizam had a dream of establishing a world standard institution of higher learning in Hyderabad.He said the university witnessed momentous changes in these 100 years, including the two world wars, India's independence and formation of Telangana.Osmania University was established with the dream that it will be a place where free minds will meet, they will freely exchange ideas and views and that all will live in peaceful co-existence, he said.Mukherjee voiced concern that Indian universities were lagging far behind in basic research and innovation.Saying that state funding of the higher institutes of learning is not possible to the extent required, he called upon industry to come forward. He said the industry should have interface with universities.He quoted India's first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad to emphasise the need for research, innovation and interaction with the society and said the universities cannot live in isolation.It was on this day in 1917 that Mir Osman Ali Khan issued a 'farmaan' or royal decree for establishing the university.
It was the first university in the Indian subcontinent with Urdu as the medium of instruction. After India's independence, English replaced Urdu as the medium of instruction.Vice Chancellor S. Ramachandram said the university had over one crore alumni and many of them were contributing to the well being of society.Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his cabinet colleagues attended the inaugural ceremony of the centenary celebrations.Students, teaching and non-teaching staff, alumni, former professors and eminent people from various walks of life attended the ceremony on the sprawling campus.Police made elaborate security arrangements to foil any attempt by student groups to disrupt the celebrations.The groups have been demanding that the Telangana government address the problems faced by them.This was Chandrasekhar Rao's first visit to the university after the formation of Telangana in 2014 and students' leaders demanded an appointment with him to bring their problems to his notice.