Yellappa Reddy returns honorary doctorate
The environmentalist is upset with BU’s move to allot land housing the Biodiversity Park to other institutions
Renowned environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy has decided to return the honorary doctorate that was conferred on him by Bangalore University more than a decade ago. He took this decision to protest the university’s move to allot the land housing the Biodiversity Park for CBSE’s southern centre, Central University of Karnataka, Gulbarga and the Inter University Centre for Yogic Sciences
He was awarded the honorary doctorate by BU in 2009 keeping in mind his contribution towards developing the Biodiversity Park on BU’s Jnana Bharathi campus and for his efforts to protect the environment. On October 1, he handed over his doctorate to the Environmental Society of India and asked them to return it to the Governor and Chancellor of Universities Vajubhai Vala on his behalf.
Mr. Reddy told The Hindu that he was ‘deeply hurt’ by the Vice Chancellor’s decision to lease out the land without consulting him. “I was instrumental in developing the Biodiversity Park more than two decades ago. I got the doctorate for setting up this park. When this park is no more, what is the meaning of holding the doctorate? I am still the consultant of the Biodiversity Park but the Vice Chancellor did not consult me once before making this decision,” he said.
He had initially asked T.J. Renuka Prasad – the former coord inator of the biopark – to return the award to the Chancellor. However, he was not in a position to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Society members have sought an appointment with the Chancellor to return the award.
The Biodiversity Park has more than 9,000 trees that have been nurtured over the years. The park is popularly known as the largest ‘oxygen bank’ in the city and has a fruit garden.
Vice Chancellor K.R. Venugopal said that 10 acres were allotted to Central University, Gulbarga, 15 acres to the University Grants Commission. “We are yet to allot one acre for the CBSE’s southern regional centre,” he said adding that he is not aware how many acres of these come within the Biodiversity Park.