GUWAHATI: A three-day national conference of vice-chancellors on transformative higher education for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” will be inaugurated by former President of India Ram Nath Kovind at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) on Thursday.
Organised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), a 97-year-old premier higher education institution of the country, and hosted by the USTM from March 23 to 25, the higher education event will be participated by nearly 600 vice-chancellors from different universities.
The 97th annual general meet and the 97th foundation day lecture of AIU will also take place during the programme.
More than 550 vice-chancellors, 50 statutory officials, 10 distinguished foreign delegates and policy-makers, and over 20 directors of IISc, IITs and NITs will attend the conference.
This is for the first time in the Northeast that a prestigious academic event such as the VCs’ national conference is being hosted by a private university.
During the inaugural session of the conference, a special address will be made by Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu.
The AIU Foundation Day Lecture will be delivered by Bibek Debroy, chairman of, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, while the welcome address will be delivered by USTM Chancellor Mahbubul Hoque.
AIU secretary general, Pankaj Mittal has expressed hope that the conference at USTM will be one of the best conferences organised so far.
In this context, vice president, of AIU and USTM VC, GD Sharma said that the main emphasis of the association was to prepare a roadmap for linking higher education to outcome-based education to provide more opportunities to the youth so that higher education can be an engine for socio-economic development of the country.
“USTM will become a major driving force in linking NEP-2020 to the modern education system. Discussions on the formation of the National Accreditation Council (NAC) will also be held during the conference. The conference will also discuss how the HECI (Higher Education Council of India) should be formed to provide light but tight regulations,” Sharma said.
The presidential address will be made by Suranjan Das, president of AIU and vice-chancellor, of Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
There will be an interface between the heads of apex bodies with international delegates where the featured speakers comprise Abhay Jere, vice chairman, AICTE; RC Agrawal, DDG, ICAR, Ponmudiraj, advisor, NAAC, Bhola Thapa, vice-chancellor, Kathmandu University, Nepal and Aditya Malkani, regional director, ACU.
The valedictory address on the third day of the conference will be made by Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria.
The guests of honour for the valedictory session include Atul Kothari, national secretary, Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas; Meghalaya education minister Rakkam A Sangma and Nani Gopal Mahanta, education advisor to the Assam government.
The conference sessions will start in the afternoon of Thursday and will continue till Saturday.
The themes for sessions of the conference include: “Internationalisation: Modes of Engagement”; “Minimum Government: Maximum Governance: What Does It Mean for Universities”; “Promotion of Indian Languages”; “Reforms for Holistic Education”; “Creating an Ecosystem for Research and Excellence” and “Future of Education, Learning, and Workplace”.
A host of VCs from universities such Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), IGNOU, Symbiosis International, University of Massachusetts, Bharti Vidyapith, University of Hyderabad, besides directors of IITs, IISc, AICTE, NAAC, ICAR, ACU, IIIT will be joining the conference.
About 300 heads of higher education institutions along with several foreign policy-makers will participate in the conference in online mode.
AIU, New Delhi, is the highest body which gives equivalence to foreign university degrees in India.
The membership of AIU includes all types of universities such as conventional universities, open universities, deemed to be universities, state universities, central universities, private universities and institutes of national importance.
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Chancellor of USTM, Mahbubul Hoque said that this is for the first time that such a large participation of academic leaders would take place at the university.
“This also shows how policy-makers are going to contribute to the process of creation and dissemination of knowledge. We will leave no stone unturned to make this conference a big success,” he said.
The accreditation council, which will be formed, will also help in this direction. The conference will also discuss how the HECI (Higher Education Council of India) should be formed to provide light but tight regulations.
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