Prof. Dr. Vishwanath D. Karad
Founder, Executive President & Managing Trustee
Maharashtra Academy of Engineering and Educational Research (MAEER), Pune,India
A village-born youngster went on to become an engineering professor and further on created a world-class educational conglomerate that is transforming the lives of thousands through teaching methods that are rooted in India’s holistic thought. This is indeed a commendable personal and social achievement. This is also the inspiring story of Prof Vishwanath Karad - Founder, Executive President & Managing Trustee of MAEER.
Devoted to the mission of providing value-based quality education, the visionary Prof Karad endeavours to take MIT Group into the league of prominent global educational institutions, by producing eminent engineers, scientists and other professionals. Being an ardent follower of Swami Vivekanand, he believes that the union of Science and Spirituality can bring peace to mankind. Reflecting this in practice, MIT Group aims to provide the finest motivating and inspiring environment for learning, teaching, research, innovation and character building to make the students "physically strong, mentally alert, intellectually sharp and spiritually elevated". Along with academic development, he is keen to uplift the social psyche.
With Prof Karad’s vision, MIT Group has been constantly engaged in championing and promoting the time-tested Indian values, culture and traditions for the well-being of the society at large. He firmly believes that teachers have a major role to play and along with continuous knowledge upgradation, the staff of MIT Group is also groomed to be spiritually and mentally strong and physically healthy. Towards this end, he initiated a unique eight days-long lecture series "Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram Smruti Vyakhyanmala" accompanied by Yog sessions, which are now held every year from 24th to 30th November. He also initiated the compilation of a unique "World Peace Prayer", based on Vedic shlokas, which is not devoted to any cast, creed or religion, but to humanity in total. Since 2005, every day at all the MIT campuses begins with the 'World Peace Prayer'.
With his holistic vision MIT Group hosted the International Robocon twice – in 2008 and 2014 – and has also been organizing National Robocons since 2005. The one hosted in 2008 had the Dahi Handi Theme, wherein the traditional Indian sport of making human pyramids on Krishna Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birth anniversary) depicts the spirit of teamwork in order to achieve a common goal. The Theme for 2014 was ‘Salute to Parenthood’, which highlighted the Indian ethos of joint families that ensure holistic parenting leading to all-round development of the children. His vision also led to the initiation of World Peace Eco Park in MIT-ADT campus in Loni Kalbhor, Pune.
Rooted in the spiritual Warkari tradition of Maharashtra, Prof Karad established a forum - Shree Kshetra Alandi-Dehu Parisar Vikas Samiti - in 1986, to develop two great pilgrim centres of Maharashtra in a sustainable manner, viz. Alandi and Dehu. Its purpose is to secure the natural environment of the area and control pollution. In 1992, he organized a grand celebration to mark the 700th year of composition of Dnyaneshwari – the classical translation of Bhagwad Gita in Prakrut, which was the ancient version of Marathi. It was his dream for a better society that propelled all these initiatives. In 1998, Prof Karad represented India at the second 'Global Conference of Science and Philosophy" in Geneva, Switzerland. He started an innovative mass education movement of a different kind called 'From Pilgrim Centres to Knowledge-Pilgrim Centres' in 1999.
Thus, Prof Karad’s vision has greatly contributed in creating the educational foundation for sustainable industrial and economic growth of the society and the nation, while helping lakhs of students realize their dreams and aspirations.