P. Selvie Das, the first and only woman Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore (UoM), passed away at a private hospital in Bengaluru on Monday morning.
Ms. Das, 88, served as VC from 1988 to 1991. Her death was attributed to age-related ailments.
Soon after receiving the news, Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore G. Hemantha Kumar convened a condolence meeting at Crawford Hall, where a number of teaching and non-teaching staff gathered to pay homage.
Prof. Kumar said Ms. Das had contributed to enhancing the prestige of UoM through several academic initiatives and other developmental programmes. She had also set up the Women’s Study Centre at the university, which is still functional.
Registrar Shivappa R. said Ms. Das, who was born in KGF on September 29, 1932, began her career as an assistant researcher in CFTRI in Mysuru in 1956 before moving on to teach at Maharani’s College in Bengaluru.
After a stint as the Director of Collegiate Education of Karnataka from 1977 to 1988 during which she opened a large number of colleges across the State, particularly in North Karnataka, Ms. Das was appointed UoM VC in 1988. She was also chosen as a member of University Grants Commission (UGC). She later served as a member of the Union Public Service Commission between 1991 and 1997. She was eventually made a member of the Rajya Sabha, which she served from 1997 to 2003.
Mr. Shivappa said Ms. Das was known as ‘Woman Ambedkar of Karnataka’ because of her commitment to social justice and contribution to the uplift of Dalits and other weaker sections of the society.
Ms. Das has also authored two books – Society, Law and Sex Education and New Perspectives on South Asian Women.