Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 24:
Curriculum needs to be updated every year in order to prepare our youths for the modern world, Prof. Ved Prakash, Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) said, while advising universities and institutions of higher education to hold annual workshop to ensure this. Universities failing to do this will lag behind, he said, in his seminar lecture on ‘Role of Research on Massification of Quality Higher Education’ at KIIT University in Odisha capital today.
With a Gross Enrolment Rate of 23%, India has achieved “massification of higher education”, he informed, while stressing that research universities are need of the hour. Arguing against compartmentalization of disciplines, he pointed out that new knowledge is always found at the intersection of disciplines. “We need universities that have inspiring living and learning environment and are able to produce most scientific and talented workforce”, Prof. Prakash stated.
“I believe higher education is a state responsibility. However, in India we have bright instances of private initiatives in higher education. Madan Mohan Malviya, who established Banaras Hindu University, Rabindra Nath Tagore, who set up Santiniketan, Syed Ahmad Khan, who set up AMU, and JRD Tata are the most prominent examples. I am happy to see today that with the establishment of a promising university like KIIT, Dr. Achyuta Samanta has joined this league of great men”, Chairman of UGC remarked.
Upon his arrival in KIIT University today morning, Prof. Ved Prakash, who was accompanied by Dr. (Mrs.) Shimla, Director, Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training, went around all the campuses of KIIT University. They also visited its sister concern, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, the world’s largest free residential institute for tribal children and youth.
Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Prof. Prakash said, “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for the adventure of ideas and for the search for truth.” KISS is the brightest example of humanism in education, he said. Commending founder of KIIT and KISS, Achyuta Samanta for the initiative, he said, “It required commitment and passion of the highest order to achieve this.”
Role of teachers will continue to remain paramount despite the trend towards online education, he told a large audience of faculty of KIIT and other institutions. Underscoring the importance of research universities to generate new knowledge, he said, there is a need to transform our institutions from a learning system to knowledge system. “Future of higher education lies in quality and research”, he insisted.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. (Mrs.) Shimla said, “I am awestruck by the campuses of KIIT, which is comparable to the best institutions of the world. KIIT is beyond imagination and its founder is a living legend. It has bloomed even beyond imagination of its founder in such a short span of time”. KIIT and KISS are great credit Dr. Samanta’s passion for humanitarian work, she stated.
Prof. P. P. Mathur, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University and Dr. Sasmita Samanta, Registrar also spoke on the occasion.