Aug 4, 2011

Guest - Dr. V. Tatayah Speech

Address by Dr Vikash Tatayah

Induction Session Yr 2011/12

Introductory remarks

  • In his welcoming address Dr. Vikash Tatayah thanked the Dean, Assoc Prof Driver and the Head of Departments for inviting him to address the new batch of students joining the Faculty for the academic year 2011/2012 and expressed his gratitude to all the staff for giving him this opportunity and honour to address the future resources of the Republic.

  • Dr Tatayah graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture in 1996.  He worked at the FAIL group before joining the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation where he is now the conservation manager.  He is particular glad to have done all his studies at the University and indeed he obtained his PhD form the Faculty of Science in July 2011.

He stressed on several points related to the Faculty development  

·         The Faculty has stood the test of time. Indeed the faculty will celebrate its centenary in 2014.

·         Has played a key role in training the agricultural scientists, which plays vital role in developing the agricultural sector of this country.

·         The Faculty of Agriculture has had eminent lecturers such as Paul Octave Wiehe. Dr Orian and lately Dr D.R.Venkatasamy.

·         The teaching& technical staff  has great human qualities and are valuable mentors.

·         He explained the role of external examiners, from reputable universities abroad, plays in assuring quality of our degree programmes.  

·         The degrees awarded by the university are internationally recognized and the students can at a later stage embark on higher studies abroad. 

In his personal advice to students, he encouraged them to

·         Grow and blossom,  
·         Expand their  horizons,
·         Come out of their shells,  
·         Explore news ideas, questions and don’t take for granted any concepts,
·         Develop their personality.

·         He reminded the students that it’s at the university that they have the chance of developing their professional aptitude and talent to be leaders of tomorrow in whatever field they will embrace. He gave an example of one of their lecturers who always used to refer to them as managers.  In those days, they had very little faith in themselves, and used to take his predictions with a pinch of salt.  But the truth is that most of the students of his cohort are now project and research managers n the agricultural and allied fields. 

·         The University is also a place where you can develop long lasting friendships

·         Participate in extra-curriculum-activities.  He remarked that there is now a better campus life than in his days at the university.

Value of the Degree

  • He nevertheless noted that not all is perfect at the university.  However he wished that the university helps the students to develop their personalities in a better way. Despite this, he emphasized that the University of Mauritius is providing great value for the money the students pay. He forcefully said that nowhere else you can graduate with a BSc for 42,000 MUR annually and on top of that to be awarded a degree that match international standards. 

  • He encouraged the students to go to foreign university after their undergraduates’ degrees to broaden up one’s horizons, appreciate the worth of the university where they first graduated and to be exposed to new way of thinking that will help agricultural development in Mauritius.

In his concluding remarks, he enumerated a few challenges that we will have to face and the onus is on the present generation to come up with innovative ways to deal with them. Some of the issues he mentioned were  as follows: 

·         How to make l’industrie canniere survive and continue to fulfill a major economic role? 
·         How to be less reliant on food imports and to increase food security?  How to produce healthy agricultural products using less and less or no agrochemicals? 
·         How to plant sugarcane for bagasse and charcoal? 
·         How to overcome climate change that affects agriculture,
·         Development of organic agriculture.  

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