Distinctive Status of the University
- Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute (RKMVERI), (Deemed-to-be-University as declared by Govt of India under Section-3 of UGC Act 1956) is established, administered and run by Ramakrishna Mission (sponsoring society of the University), a registered society started by Swami Vivekananda in 1897. Ramakrishna Mission is a well-known and reputed non-governmental organization (NGO) serving the society in India and abroad irrespective of caste, colour, creed, religion, nationality, gender, regional bias etc., through its vast network of nearly 200 branch-centres in the fields of education, health, cultural and spiritual activities, relief and rehabilitation, rural and tribal development, publications, teaching and preaching, and a large number of allied areas all of whom are for the all-round development of the individual and the society as a whole. Based on the ideology bequeathed by Swami Vivekananda, namely, ‘selfless service is the real worship of God in man’, ‘for one’s own liberation and for the welfare of the world’, Ramakrishna Mission has been silently serving the society since its inception for nearly 116 years and now well known as an established and accepted charitable, philanthropic, non-profit, non-governmental organization started by Swami Vivekananda.
- A University at Belur Math, the international headquarters at Belur Math, was envisioned by Swami Vivekananda himself nearly 111 years ago, in recognition of which RKMVERI has recently been awarded the tag of a ‘Special Heritage University’ by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, as recently announced by a press release on 1 July 2013, with certain privileges in the matter of governance and special grant. However, the official award letter in this regard is yet to be issued by MHRD/UGC.
- RKMVERI was declared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India as an institution deemed-to-be-University by a Gazetted Notification dated 5 January 2005 under Section 3 of University Grants Commission (UGC) Act, 1956.
- It should be especially noted that RKMVERI is neither self-financing, nor a recipient of any regular funding from any governmental agency. It is thus, not to be construed as a `private’ university, nor a government-funded `grant-in-aid’ institution.
- RKMVERI, however, has been receiving some one-time grant from UGC for infrastructural development, books and journals, furniture and equipment, staff salaries, etc. during the XI and XII plan periods. Well-wisher donors, admirers and devotees of Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideology also support the University through donations and institution of scholarships for meritorious and needy students.
- All the regular faculty members of the University are paid salaries at the UGC scales. Selection of faculty also stringently follows norms set forth by the UGC, and focuses on academically motivated teachers with an equal zeal for both teaching and research. Since the intake of students for the postgraduate courses is quite small (20-25), meticulous personal attention is paid by the teachers to the progress of each student, both his academic progress as well as his development as a human being with higher human values.
- Students of the University are charged minimal and very modest tuition fees which do not add up to any substantial fraction of the expenses involved in providing them the quality education they are imparted. A number of scholarships, instituted by well-wisher donors, are available for financially challenged students, wherein even this small amount of tuition fee is waived, free accommodation and board provided, together with a modest studentship to enable such students to continue with their education. The University authorities collect funds from philanthropically minded donors for this purpose, and the public at large respond enthusiastically with the feeling that every paisa donated to Ramakrishna Mission will be well spent and benefit the poor, needy and meritorious students. All these are in strict and happy compliance with the noble ideals of selfless service set forth by Swami Vivekananda whose great vision the University attempts to realize.
- In fine, we reiterate that the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute, (Deemed-to-be-University as declared by Govt of India under Section-3 of UGC Act 1956) is a University with a difference: it is vastly different from a so-called ‘private’ University. In fact, it is NOT a ‘private’ University as it is normally understood—a run-of-the-mill institution that is self-financing, profit-making, interested only in the so-called financial viable courses with huge tuition and other fees charged to the students. To run such a University with no regular governmental funding except some one-time grants, is a huge challenge and struggle which Ramakrishna Mission has been facing over more than a century of its inception, and the success story behind its achievement of excellence albeit all this struggle is thanks its being solidly founded on the ideals of selfless service, truth and purity of motive bequeathed to it by its great founder, Swami Vivekananda, the one aim of the education imparted by the University being, in Swamiji’s own words, “the manifestation of the Perfection already in man”, enabling students, especially those from the disadvantaged and underprivileged sections of the society, to realize their full potential of Perfection through character-building, ‘man-making education’.
Vice Chancellor, Belur Math