New Delhi, 28 July 2018: On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, the Ministry of Human Resource Development organized a National Conference of Vice Chancellors & Directors of Higher Education Institutions of India in New Delhi today. Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Prakash Javadekar chaired the conference and Minister of State for HRD, Higher Education Dr Satya Pal Singh also graced the occasion.
The three- day Conference started on 26th July, and will culminate on 28th July, 2018. All Vice Chancellors of Central Universities, State Public Universities, Deemed to be Universities, State Private Universities, Directors of Central Institutes, such as IITs, IISc., IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITs and other central institutions participated in the Conference.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Javadekar said that Guru is the real guide of a person to achieve success in his/her life. He also informed that last year on the occasion of Guru Purnima, we launched SWAYAM platform and in a very short span, more than 24 lakh students have registered for it. It is a huge success in providing quality, affordable and anytime learning to all. He hopes that with the active participation of the universities, user will further increase from 24 lakh to 2.4 crore by next year.
The Minister said that this conference is different from previous ones because first time Ministry of HRD has invited not only VC’s of Centrally funded Universities and Directors of Central Institutes, such as IITs, IISc., IIMs, IISERs, IIITs, NITs but also invited all Vice Chancellors of State Public Universities, Deemed to be Universities, State Private Universities because our aim is to break the walls of separation for the betterment of the education sector.
The Minister further said that all research projects of MHRD including IMPRINT will be opened to teachers and students of all Universities. Of course, the selection will be strictly on merit. In order to check Plagiarism, Turnitin software will be made available at no cost basis to all Universities in the country. The Minister also informed that e-Shodh Sindhu mass bargain journals will now be available for all Universities at affordable cost. He further said that from now on other than centrally funded Universities also can call foreign Professors to their institutions under GIAN initiative.
While addressing the gathering Dr Satya Pal said that research & innovation is the key factor in revolutionizing the higher education scenario of the country. He further said that in order to improve quality of the education ‘Guru’ must be respected more than any staff in all the educational institutions. He also pointed out that Indian higher educational institutions apply very less number of patent applications; it must be increased if we want to become an Worls leader (Vishwa Guru) in the field of education again.
Delivering the welcome speech, Secretary (Higher Education) of HRD Shri R. Subrahmanyam said that the purpose of the conference was to set focus for the educational advancement of the country. Our prime focus is on promoting Research & Innovation, which will make significant gains in the higher education space and also promote excellence in our institutions. The Ministry is making all possible efforts to transform these education hubs into a place where intellectuals are created.
The Minister released the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report 2017-18 and Higher Education Profile of All India and States for the year 2017-18. On this occasion, he also released Swachh Campus- A manual for Swachhta Ranking of Higher Education Institutions. It was followed by the Presentation on Quality Mandate by Prof. D.P. Singh, Chairman, UGC.
Dr. Vijay Bhatkar was felicitated by the Union HRD Minister on the occasion. He is one of most acclaimed and internationally acknowledged scientists of India. He is presently the Chancellor of Nalanda University. Prior to Nalanda responsibility, he was the Chairman of Board of Governors of IIT Delhi from 2012 to 2017. He is best known as the architect of India’s national initiative in supercomputing, where he led the development of India’s first supercomputer Param in 1990.
The theme of the Conference is Research & Innovation in Higher Education. Various sessions were held on Promoting Research & Innovation in HEIs, Quality Mandate & Teacher Training and Digital Initiatives of HRD Ministry. Some of the important initiatives undertaken by the ministry in these areas are as follows:
Promoting Research & Innovation – In the past four years, several measures have been undertaken by the Ministry to improve research and encourage innovation in the sector. Such as IMPRINT aims to address and provide solutions to the most pressing and relevant challenges faced by the nation, Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana encourages institutions to undertake meaningful research in higher educational institutions.
The Ministry has recently announced IMPRINT-II which aims to translate knowledge in domain areas into viable technologies in selected domains to enable and empower the higher educational institutions for contributing towards inclusive growth and self-reliance. GIAN is an initiative of the Government aimed to garner the best global experiences into our system of higher education & enable interaction of students and faculty with the best academic and industry experts from all over the world. This Government has also taken special measures to set up research parks in order to improve the quality of research and the business climate in the country. The scheme has been revamped with focus on setting up of start up centres and incubation hubs in select higher educational institutions. AICTE has been encouraging Hackathon to promote the quality of critical thinking amongst the youth and bring creative solutions to larger problems through innovation. This year, the hackathon is poised to focus on both hardware as well as software solutions to critical issues.
Improving Quality of Education – Alongside promotion of research, the Ministry, through the University Grants Commission proposes to improve quality in higher education institutions to improve the graduate outcomes for the students, promote their bond with society, train students in essential professional and soft skills, implement a mandatory induction programme for teachers and ensure that every institution shall get NAAC accreditation with a minimum score of 2.5 by 2022. Towards this end, the UGC will mandate learning outcome based curriculum framework and revision of curriculum in regular intervals, encourage use of ICT based learning tools for effective teaching-learning processes, develop society and industry connect for every institution, undertake examination reforms, promote quality research by faculty and creation of new knowledge and also mentor non-accredited institutions so that every institution gets accreditation by 2022.
Teacher Training & Capacity Building – The Ministry also has an ambitious programme of training teachers starting with an induction programme and annual refresher / orientation programmes. The aim is to ensure that 100% teachers in higher education are oriented towards the latest and emerging trends in their respective domains of knowledge and requisite pedagogies that translate their knowledge to the students. The PMMMNMTT scheme will focus on encouraging National Resource Centres (NRCs) and mandatory leadership/ management capacities for all educational administrators.