VELLORE, March 19, 2017: The University Grants Commission Chairman Prof. Ved Prakash said that the universities such as the VIT University, Vellore should help improve the quality of the profession of the people such as artisans and farmers living in the community around them.
Speaking at the University Day and Annual Sports Day at the VIT University campus here on Sunday, Prof. Prakash who will be laying down office in another 15 days said that the expertise of the different disciplines in the university should benefit the persons living in the community so that they can improve the quality of their profession and also improve their standard of living. The universities should also nurture the talent of the best students from the marginalized sections of the society so that they become assets to the society and the nation.
Pointing out that the quality of an institution of higher learning is as good as the quality of the minds of their students, faculty and non-teaching staff, the UGC Chairman said that the universities needed to develop a sense of responsibility among the students so that they brought laurels to their families, institutions, the country and the entire human race. “We need universities which can provide talented work force to the world. We need universities which are connected to the society. If universities did not bring about an impact on the quality of the people, they are not fulfilling their mandate”, he said.
Prof. Ved Prakash said that the University Day is an occasion for the university to do some self-introspection at the macro and micro levels, vis-à-vis the sister institutions. The management, faculty and other staff should sit together and set standards to be achieved after the next five years. They should analyse the curricular provisions to find whether they provide for analytical reasoning, and help in creating new knowledge in the chosen domains. If they do not fulfill these objectives, there is something wrong in what the university offers to the students, he said.
The UGC Chairman called upon the students to ensure that they did not miss the opportunity provided by their education in the college/university to excel in their chosen field. He recommended three `mantras’ for success: the first one is that the students should be life-long learners; they should not only read the textbooks pertaining to their chosen areas, but also other disciplines, read the biographies of great leaders of their state and country, and read literature. Secondly, they should dream and aspire for the top slot in their chosen fields. Thirdly, they should lead a disciplined life. There is no substitute for hard work which can make up for intellectual shortage, he said.
Adverting to the request of the VIT Chancellor for greater funding from the UGC to private universities, Prof. Prakash said that the UGC has in the recent past taken several measures for facilitating the growth of private institutions. If higher educational institutions achieve quality and get the highest accreditation for three consecutive terms, they would not be subject to re-accreditation every five years. Such institutions can conduct their own review, and the UGC will accept their reports, he said.
Dr. G. Viswanathan, VIT Chancellor who presided urged the framers of the New Education Policy to bring in liberalisation of higher education in such a way that well-performing institutions are recognized. Competition will improve quality of education and bring down the cost of education, he said. The Chancellor urged the Government of India to introduce a single window system for universities to get licences for construction of new buildings. At present, they had to get 14 `no objection certificates’ for constructing a building, he said.
Referring to the restrictions being imposed by the Trump administration in the U.S. on issuing visas to students, the Chancellor said that this was an opportunity for the Indian institutions of higher learning to attract foreign students.
The UGC Chairman gave away education scholarships worth Rs.11.69 crores on behalf of the VIT to 2870 students. This included Rs.5.11 crores to 231 students under the STARS (Support The Advancement of Rural Students) Scheme, and research associateship worth Rs.4.91 crores to 654 students. Mr. Vatsal Mishra, student of B.Tech. (Computing Science and Engineering) bagged the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for the Best Outgoing Student 2017. Kushwant Fatnani, student of B.Tech. Chemical Engineering won the TCS Best Student Award, while Mr. Anik Ganguly, student of B.Tech. Mechanical Engineering got the CTS Best Student Award.
Dr. Anand A. Samuel, Vice-Chancellor of VIT said that the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of the Ministry of Human Resources Development has recently ranked the VIT University as the number one institution of higher learning among private institutions in India.
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