Srinagar, Oct 17: In a significant move aimed at enhancing the quality and relevance of higher education in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha, during the inaugural session of a Round Table Conference held at the University of Kashmir, addressed newly appointed Vice Chancellors from universities across the nation, shedding light on the path forward.
Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha underscored the critical need for these educational institutions to adapt to the ever-evolving educational landscape. He emphasised the importance of formulating strategic plans, enhancing organizational readiness, and aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020 to remain relevant in a dynamically changing world.
He expressed, "the ultimate objective should be the transformation of the education landscape in India, with a focus on increasing the country's presence in the global education sector, valued in trillions of dollars."
He urged universities to prioritize the improvement of their rankings and to take bold actions in pursuit of this goal.
Highlighting the burgeoning demand for higher education in India, Sinha pointed out that the country has been at the forefront, contributing to 74% of all new higher education institutions established worldwide over the past 10-15 years. However, despite a multitude of institutions and exceptional facilities, no Indian educational institution currently ranks among the world's top 10 educational hubs, a shortfall he attributed to a lack of promotion.
In addition, Sinha drew attention to the fact that more than 13 lakh Indian students are pursuing their education in 79 different countries, contributing an estimated $30 billion annually to foreign economies. To reverse the trend of Indian students seeking education abroad and to encourage international students to choose India, he advocated for a transformational approach.
The Lt. Governor also highlighted the commendable efforts of the Union Territory administration, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in overhauling the education system in Jammu and Kashmir. Since September 2020, the region has witnessed promising reforms in higher education, empowering universities and colleges to refocus on educational outcomes, industry requirements, innovation, new-age skills, and adaptability to meet the needs of the future.
Sinha underscored the urgency of keeping up with the rapid changes occurring in various sectors, including education. He emphasized the necessity for a significant transformative revolution within university campuses to remain relevant in the future.
The Lt. Governor stressed the importance of practical learning, emphasizing that innovation and entrepreneurship cannot be taught through books alone. He proposed that arrangements should be made to engage students in field learning activities on a weekly basis.
The Round Table Conference convened Vice Chancellors from universities across India to deliberate on university governance, collaboration, and the promotion of innovation in the academic world. It highlighted a collective commitment to reshape higher education and ensure its alignment with the dynamic demands of the modern era.
Prof. Dinesh Singh, Vice Chairman, J&K Higher Education Council, in his address, shared the ongoing transformation in higher education sector in Jammu Kashmir.
Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian University highlighted the endeavours of AIU for enhancing the engagement of universities and teachers in reforming the education system in the country.
Prof. Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir; Vice Chancellors of various universities; HoDs; senior officers and faculty members were present.