The State department of Higher Education has taken a decision to put a check on the Chairs or Peethas constituted in the State universities of Karnataka. The Chairs are constituted to carry out studies and research on various subjects and create awareness about the topics. But over the last few years, officials say that Chairs are not functioning according to their mandates. Now the government wants these Chairs to publish textbooks, stop giving holidays on Jayanthis and popularise the topics they’re working on. Taking Bangalore University (BU) as an example, it has seven Chairs like – Sarvapalli Chair, Kempegowda Chair, Visvesvaraya Chair, ISRO Chair and others. Talking about these chairs, a senior official from a university said, “The chairs are a financially-aided committee. For example, lakhs or sometimes crores of rupees are given to a chair, and the university appoints a faculty member to conduct research. Not just research, they also take up some academic activities and conduct workshops to popularise the subject they’re working on.”The Kempegowda Chair, for example, will conduct studies into the life and contributions of Kempegowda, and submit a report. Some Chairs are funded by the government and some are funded by organisations. An ISRO Chair in Bangalore University takes up projects which addresses and promotes Space Technology and its streams to students, schools and universities. A member from the Chair said, “We go to schools, colleges and other places to promote the idea of Space Technology and about ISRO. We stand as a bridge between ISRO and others and propagate the vision and mission of ISRO. We also hold talks, discussions and take science to the people. For this, we have a funding given by ISRO and we work on it continuously.” Certain Chairs in some universities do not produce expected results at times, say officials. For this, last year the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) had constituted a committee to study the “Functioning of Chairs/ Peethas instituted in various State Universities.” A report was submitted to the Council and the body has since taken a decision to make use of these Chairs in an effective way. This decision has been welcomed by various officials from the university. A registrar of the university said, “This is a very good move from the Council.”