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VCs’ meet: Guv stresses on teaching, research for quality education

Bhubaneswar, Nov 24: “Teaching and research constitute the centrality of learning and primacy of knowledge in a university. Almost all rankings use both these as benchmarks for assessing the quality of universities,” said Governor and Chancellor of universities Dr SC Jamir on Thursday.

Presiding over the Conference of Vice-Chancellors here at the Raj Bhavan Dr Jamir said the weightage given to research tends to be more in the rankings of universities recognising the importance of research. Our universities ought to become fertile avenues for innovation and generation of ideas through research and publications.

Odisha now has fifteen State Universities including four newly formed universities and one Unitary University in IIIT.

Stating rising expectations and pressures that universities are confronting he said, “This is a call for action, to think seriously about what we are doing, to value research and quality education and to ensure that our institutional policies and practices are well aligned with our priorities".

Emphasizing on the need to recognise the role of faculties for fostering excellence he asked universities to support teaching development to create motivated teachers. He insisted upon them to take immediate steps for filling up vacant teaching posts on priority basis and to ensure that best minds and talents are recruited for teaching profession.

Expressing serious concern over campus indiscipline and violence and echoing with concerns of parents and students, he said university is an open and safe place for learning and intellectual growth and not a battle ground or safety hazard. Stating that sanctity of education and the campus along with safety and peace of mind of students, faculty and staff matter a lot he asked university authorities to be strict and see that all persons on the campus, whether administrators, faculty, students or employees, are subject to the law and the regulations of the university.

Citing the challenge faced by universities in preparing students to face challenges in a real world Governor urged upon establishing collaboration with the industry and business sector to bring in new ideas and thinking, developing skill and allowing students to learn about the practical side of things to enhance re-employability prospects

To build world class universities the Governor said an inspiring vision and a mission is important. He further said leadership is central for providing an institutional vision and galvanizing academic consciousness among faculty and students. He expected dynamic leadership from vice-chancellors and taking responsibility and being accountable for one's decisions.

Dr Jamir urged upon the academic community to think globally and gain strength from the power of collective endeavour. He further sought more engagements in the future amongst all the stakeholders of university system to meet the challenges.

As Chancellor he reiterated his commitment on raising the standard of universities in the state by addressing the vital needs of curbing campus indiscipline, ensuring a study atmosphere, promoting quality education and fostering research in the universities. Governor said findings at the Conference of Vice-Chancellors would be vital in furthering the cause of higher learning in the State and meeting the goals and objectives.

Finance Minister Pradeep Kumar Amat highlighted the need of quality education and research in higher education and Government’s commitment to fill up teaching and non teaching posts soon.

Higher Education Minister Dr Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy hinted several proactive measures taken to make higher education meet emerging challenges and stressed upon activating grievance redressal system in universities to address student grievances and indiscipline.

Principal Secretary to Governor CJ Venugopal, all the Vice-Chancellors, Registrars, Secretaries and senior most officials of different departments attended the event. 

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