President announces Visitor’s Award for central varsities

New Delhi, Feb 7: President Pranab Mukherjee Friday announced the institution of a Visitor’s Award for central universities and said he was happy to note that it would be possible to fill a substantial number of faculty vacancies during this calendar year.

Addressing the concluding session of a two-day Conference of Vice Chancellors (VCs) of central universities (CUs), of which the president is Visitor, Mukherjee announced the awards under three categories of ‘Best University’, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Research’.

He also called upon universities to utilize various programmes of the University Grants Commission and appoint adjunct faculty, including from abroad, to make up for shortfalls, said a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.

The president said he would speak to the students and faculty of the CUs twice every year. He would also engage in a periodic e-dialogue with ‘Inspired Teachers’. Mukherjee called upon CUs to fully utilize the talents of their alumni and involve them in governance of the varsities.

The president called upon CUs to make the best possible use of the ICT networks and asked for the expeditious sorting out of last mile connectivity problems.

Mukherjee said each central university should set up an Industry Interface Cell, comprising representatives of local industry, industry associations, alumni and faculty to guide collaborative activities such as joint research, faculty exchange, etc.

He also asked industry to play an active role in drawing up curriculum and creating open source content for e-learning.

The concluding session was attended by Union Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju and Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor.

The vice chancellors who attended the gathering adopted a detailed set of recommendations on the three agenda items of the conference, namely (1) Steps required to improve quality of education in CUs by creating inter-linkages of industry-Academia; (2) Interfacing with Ranking Agencies and (3) use of technology for access, equity and quality in higher education, said the statement.

IANS