Featured: H. V. Nanjundaiah Page 1 of 3
Hebbalalu Velpanuru Nanjundaiah was born on 13 October, 1860. His father was Subbaiah and mother was Annapurnamma. The couple had five children – two sons and three daughters and Nanjundaiah was the first of these two sons. Nanjundaiah studied at Wesleyan Mission High School (Hardwicke High School at present) and later at Madras Christian College. He secured a B. A. degree in 1880. After completing his B. A., he worked briefly as a Sub-Registrar at Kollegal and as a clerk at the Accountant General’s Office at Madras. He did his Bachelor’s Degree in Law (B. L.) in 1883. Two years later, in 1885, H. V. Nanjundaiah was appointed as Munsiff at Nanjanagud, Mysore. The same year, he completed his M. A. as well. Following this, he was appointed as Assistant Commissioner at Hassan, Shimoga and eventually at Mysore. In 1892, he returned to Law as a Sub-Judge at Bangalore Court. The next year, H. V. Nanjundaiah completed his Master’s in Law (M. L.) Degree. In recognition of his academic and legal credentials, the Madras University made him a Fellow of the University in 1895. He was appointed as Under Secretary to the Government of Mysore in 1895. From 1897 onwards, H. V. Nanjundaiah would hold many positions such as Deputy Commissioner of Shimoga, Chief Secretary to Mysore State, Chief Judge of Mysore State and Vice Chancellor of the University of Mysore.
H. V. Nanjundaiah was adept at Kannada, Telugu (his mother tongue), French and English. Among the people who inspired H. V. N. was Dr William Miller, who was an authority in Methodology and the Science of Teaching. Nanjundaiah married Annapurnamma, who hailed from Devanahalli in 1876. She sadly passed away during the delivery of their seventh child on 13th August, 1897. H. V. Nanjundaiah was just 37 years of age. He then married Krishnavenamma (daughter of Pampapathy Sastry of Hospet). She was 14 years of age. She bore him three sons and three daughters.
Sir Herbert Hope Risley, K.C.I.E, C.S.I was a British Ethnographer and member of the Indian Civil Service who conducted extensive studies on the tribes and castes of the Bengal Presidency. H. V. Nanjundaiah under Risley’s direction took up the laborious ethnographic survey of the Mysore state from 1904 – 05.
In 1904, H. V. Nanjundaiah was made President of the Maharani School Administrative Council. During this period he started a widow’s home. He presided over the Educational Chair in the conference held in 1911 by Sir M. Visweswaraiah on ‘Economic Progress’. He was invited to Madras to preside over the Humanities Chair in the ‘Indian Science Congress’ held in 1915. In 1917, Edwin Samuel Montagu came to India to spear head the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms. Nanjundaiah sent a detailed ten page memorandum to Montagu listing out his well thought out points on how these reforms could actually be implemented in the Indian setting. Prominent among these suggestions were his emphasised need for increased involvement of Indians in the higher echelons of the administrative hierarchy and his emphatic objection to the lack of parity in pay between British and Indian Civil Servants. These suggestions were so well presented that they immediately caught the attention of Montagu and it is believed that many of these eventually did make their way into the subtler points of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms.
The Commission to reform the Indian Education System was set up under the aegis of Lord Curzon. While the prevalent thought was that it was the elementary school system that needed reshaping, Lord Curzon instead chose to direct his Government’s energies towards shaping and eventually restructuring the University system across the country. Several new Universities took shape during these years like Dacca, Banaras, Aligarh Patna, Nagpur and Rangoon Universities.
13 Oct. 1860
Wesleyan Mission High School,
Madras Christian College.
Law, Administration, Educational Sciences, Ethography, Kannada Language & Literature.
Kannada Sahitya Parishath, University of Mysore, Maharani College
First Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore
Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE),
Maharani's Girls High School, Mysore
About this time, the Princely State of Mysore had three main colleges. These were the Central College at Bangalore (1876), Maharaja College (1890) and Maharani College at Mysore. These were under the administrative aegis of the Madras University. The idea for the Mysore State to have its own University took shape in 1913 – 14. The initial steps in this direction were taken by the Maharaja HH Nalwadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar, his mother Kempa Nanjammani Vani Vilasa and Diwan Sir M. Visweswaraiah. H. V. Nanjundaiah, who was in charge of the Education Department, spearheaded the practical aspects of this dream into fruition.
University of Madras was perceived to be ‘distant and detached’ not only in terms of the obvious geographical separation, but also due to the linguistic differences and the prevalent economic challenges that had to be surmounted by poor families in sending their wards all the way to Madras for a University education.! These factors fostered in the minds of the rulers of Mysore an indispensable need for a University that was very much our own. Among the Princely States of Pre-Independent India, Mysore was the first to have its own University.
H. V. Nanjundaiah played a key role right from the inception of the University. He procured all the syllabi and curricula from Universities across the country. He wrote extensively to National and International Academic experts for their valuable suggestions. He would rely heavily on the inputs of Miller in England.