90 Vice Chancellors from North India Universities deliberate upon the need to re-think regulations in Indian Higher Education

Forthe first time in the history of Noida, more than 90 Vice Chancellors fromvarious Universities of Northern India have come together for a two day ‘NorthZone Vice Chancellors’ Meet’  to deliberate on “Celebrating Success inHigher Education- Best Practices” from December 22-23, 2016 organised by TheAssociation of Indian Universities (AIU) and hosted by Amity University, Noida

Themeet was inaugurated by Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to RakshaMantri; Prof. Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of IndianUniversities; Prof. D.S. Chauhan, President, Association of Indian Universities& Vice Chancellor, GLA University, Mathura, Dr. Ashok K Chauhan- FounderPresident, Amity Education Group and Dr. (Mrs.) Balvinder Shukla- ViceChancellor, Amity University Uttar Pradesh.

Welcomingthe distinguished gathering, Dr. (Mrs.) Balvinder Shukla- Vice Chancellor,Amity University Uttar Pradesh outlined certain areas for Indianhigher educational institutions such as the need to develop collaborations,have sufficient funds for expansion, overcome faculty crunch, work in closesync with Industry and ensure meaningful employment for their students. Shestressed that Industry needs to specify or quantify their needs in terms ofknowledge and skills so that academia can work towards fulfilling the same. Sheexpressed her hope that Vice Chancellors, during the two day Meet, will networkwith their peer group, share best practices and learn from each other, treadingthe path of excellence.

Addressingthe gathering and talking about the contribution and role of IndianUniversities and Colleges to the economy, Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy- ScientificAdviser to Raksha Mantri said that education has been transforming Indiaand academic Institutes are impacting every field, even foreign students arecoming to India for their higher education. He stated that Indian Universitieshave been producing brilliant Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers and ManagementProfessionals, who are changing the economic scenario of the country. Heremarked that Indian higher education system has been evolving, new courses areregularly introduced, Centres of Excellence have been set up, resultantly, thestudents coming out are highly innovative and their capabilities are enormous.He remarked that Indian Universities are slowly becoming “Engines of Innovationand Creativity” and a lot of innovative ideas are coming from the youth. Heshared that ISRO and MoE could document their indigenous requirements whichcould be passed onto students as their projects and later on they can come upwith their Start ups on the same lines. He stated that India is doingreasonably well in some areas; still it is the largest importer of Defensematerial, arms and ammunition. He outlined four areas where India needs to workin order to be successful - Indigenization with innovative ideas, creativityand requisite infrastructure; Export of contemporary technology and products;Innovative manufacturing and Development of hypersonic vehicles.

Feelingexhilarated amongst the august gathering of academicians, Dr. Ashok KChauhan- Founder President, Amity Group said that Indians areunparallel and they have the requisite capabilities and capacities to besuccessful across the globe, provided they realize their potential and pursuetheir aspirations with self-confidence. Dr. Chauhan stressed that Indianeducation has no competition, the ethos and culture that are entwined in Indianeducation cannot be found anywhere else. He called upon the Vice Chancellorsfrom various Universities to share their best practices and problems so thateveryone could benefit through mutual excellence and prowess.

Sharinghis views, Prof. Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of IndianUniversities said that when higher education is talked about in India, moreoften problems are discussed rather than accomplishments or achievementswhereas people outside India, both in developing and developed world, have highregards for Indian Higher Education. He remarked that Indian origin teachersare doing great in educational Institutions abroad and out of 5% of the topworld class universities which are 987 in number, 35 are Indian Universities,which speaks lot about the quality of Indian higher education instituitions. Hestated that the potential of Indian students is very high and all they need isgood ecosystem and contemporary facilities to shine bright. Outlining the mainchallenges in Indian Higher Education, he stated that Indian Higher Educationneeds expansion, inclusiveness and equity which could be achieved throughincreasing the strength of faculty, abundance of funds and freedom. Talkingabout the highly regulated Indian education sector, Prof. Qamar said that theessential idea behind regulations was to bring an order and maintain thequality of educational institutions but of late, the efficacy of regulationshas been debated and they are being taken as barriers to world classuniversities, therefore, there is a need to re-think regulations in thecountry.

Sharinghis views, Prof. D.S. Chauhan, President, Association of Indian Universities& Vice Chancellor, GLA University, Mathura said that IndianEducation system is reckoned worldwide- Indians have lot of IQ, emotionalstrength and patience. Indians can go anywhere across the globe and prove theirbrilliance. Talking about the problems faced by the Vice Chancellors in most ofthe Universities, Prof. Chauhan stated that the functioning of Universities isaffected by the crunch of professors, lack of support from Government andcrippled autonomy and AIU has been playing a big role in helping theUniversities to overcome these roadblocks. He outlined that streamlined andrigid systems permit very less autonomy in Universities as a result theseUniversities lose their focus. He shared that AIU has been providing Trainingto Vice Chancellors to identify their problems and the Government should listento their voices.

Duringthe occasion, a Special Issue of the University News on CelebratingSuccess  in Higher Education- Best Practices was released bythe distinguished guests.

During the firstday, Plenary and Technical sessions unfolded on topics such as Fostering Quality through Curriculum Innovation forDeveloping Global Talent”, “Best Practices in the Use of ICT for PromotingFlexibility in Higher Education – Challenges and Strategies”, “Research,Innovation and Commercialization in Higher Education – Best Practices” and“Best Practices in Industry Academic Collaborations” during which eminent academicians such as Dr. S.P.Singh, Vice Chancellor, Lucknow University, Dr. R.L. Sharma, Vice Chancellor,Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Dr. Bijender Kumar Punia, MD UniversityRohtak (Haryana), Dr. Nageshwar Rao, Vice Chancellor, Uttarakhand OpenUniversity, Prof. Vijay Gupta, Vice Chancellor,Sharda University, Greater Noida, Prof. DineshKumar, Vice Chancellor, YMCA, University of Science & Technology, Faridabad and others.

During the second day, eminent academicians including Dr.Gurmohan Singh Walia, Vice Chancellor, Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University,Punjab, Dr. R.S. Grewal, Vice Chancellor, Chitkara University, HimachalPradesh, Dr. Sanjay Srivastava, ViceChancellor, Manav Rachna University, Faridabad, SessionChair: Dr. Ajaib Singh Brar, Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University,Amritsar, Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh, Prof. Mushahid Husain, Vice Chancellor, MJP Rohilkhand University,Bareilly, Prof. (Dr.) Raj Singh, Vice Chancellor, Rayat-Bahra University,Mohali, Punjab, Prof. H.L. Verma, Vice Chancellor, Jagan Nath University,Bahadurgarh, Haryana and others will sharetheir views on topics such as “Developing Organisation Culture &Values for Change through Professional Development of Academic Leadership –BestPractices”, “Accreditation, Rankings & Benchmarking in Higher Education –Leadership Challenges & Strategies” and “Governance and Financing HigherEducation”

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