India will become ‘Vishwaguru” in knowledge: Assam Governor at VCs meet
USTM Chancellor Mahbubul Haque felicitates Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria at the National Conference of Vice-Chancellors

Guwahati: Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria expressed hope that “India will again become Vishwaguru based on knowledge, dedication and service.”

The Governor was speaking as the chief guest of the valedictory session of the National Conference of Vice-Chancellors on “Transformative Higher Education for Atma Nirbhar Bharat”, which concluded at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) on Saturday.

The three-day conference was organised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi in collaboration with USTM from March 23 to 25.

Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria with other delegates at the valedictory session of the National Conference of Vice-Chancellors on “Transformative Higher Education for Atma Nirbhar Bharat”

This is for the first time in the Northeast that the prestigious academic event was hosted by a private university.

The guests of honour for the valedictory session were Atul Kothari, national secretary, Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas; Meghalaya education minister Rakkam A Sangma; and Dr Nani Gopal Mahanta, education advisor, Government of Assam.

Addressing the august gathering, the Assam Governor lauded AIU and all the vice-chancellors on behalf of Assam and all the states of the Northeast for participating in the conference at USTM.

“I congratulate Mahbubul Hoque, chancellor of USTM, for establishing and nurturing an unparalleled university, a true people’s university”, he said.

Meghalaya education minister Rakkam A Sangma addressed the participants as the special guest of honour.

Earlier, the welcome address was made by Prof G D Sharma, vice president of AIU and vice-chancellor of USTM.

Dr Pankaj Mittal, secretary general, AIU addressed the august gathering and thanked all the distinguished dignitaries for participating in the conference and making it successful.

The conference report was presented by Dr S Rama Devi Pani, editor of University News, AIU.

Delivering the presidential address, Prof Suranjan Das, president, AIU and VC, Jadavpur University, Kolkata said this was an unparalleled conference hosted by USTM.

Atul Kothari, national secretary Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas and Prof Nani Gopal Mahanta, education advisor, Assam, addressed the gathering as the guests of honour.

The valedictory session of the VC’s conference was preceded by a technical session with the theme, “Future of Education, Learning and Workplace”.

The sub-themes of the session were: ‘Technology-based personalised teaching-learning models’, ‘Changing role of teachers as facilitators’ and ‘Preparing the students for future jobs.’

The last technical session of the conference was chaired by Prof. Ranbir Singh, Former President, AIU and chancellor, IILM University, Gurugram. It was co-chaired by Prof. Bhushan Patwardhan, former vice chairman, UGC and former chairman EC, NAAC.

The speakers at the session were Prof M M Pant, former pro-vice-chancellor, IGNOU (online); Prof Marmar Mukhopadhyay, former director, NIEPA and Prof Parameswar K Iyer, director, IIT, Guwahati.

The session was followed by the AIU general and business sessions.

Notably, over 500 vice-chancellors and directors of IITs, IISc, NITs and other higher education institutions from India and abroad took part in the three-day conference.

Former President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the conference on Thursday during which he urged universities in the country to have a global outlook.

Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Bibek Debroy and Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu among other dignitaries graced the national conference on the first day.

On Friday, vice-chancellors of various universities and heads of top institutions took part in the second day of the national conference and deliberated on transformative higher education and how it could pave the way for a self-reliant India through ways such as ‘minimum government and maximum governance.’

AICTE Vice-Chairman Abhay Jere addresses the national conference of VCs at USTM

Chairing the second technical session on “Minimum Government: Maximum Governance- What does it mean for the universities,” on Friday, AICTE vice chairman Abhay Jere said there are many questions on the parameters of ranking of universities.

“We have to evolve our own ranking model, and not rely on the western model. It’s a journey, and we are going in the right direction,” Jere said.

In this context, Sastra University vice-chancellor S Vaidhyasubramaniam said, “For the last one and a half years, we have been working on a very important project informally called ‘One Nation One Data’. We will go with a unified platform, take all the data from the universities just once, and then through this system, we will give data to all the agencies like NAAC, NIRF, and UGC. This single pool of data will help higher education institutions.”

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Sub-themes of the session were ‘Ideal Model for Higher Education Commission of India (HECI)’, ‘Ranking and Rating: Differential Harmony’, and ‘Autonomy: Issues and Concerns’.

In the third technical session on “Reforms for Holistic Education,” the sub-themes were ‘Promoting Outcome Based Learning’, ‘Integrating skills with higher education’, and ‘Innovative Assessment and Evaluation Techniques’.

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