Govt flexible on Universities bill, ready to consider suggestions: LG

LG Manoj Sinha speaking at an event in Gandhi Nagar Women College on Tuesday.
LG Manoj Sinha speaking at an event in Gandhi Nagar Women College on Tuesday.

‘Higher Education has to be run by experts, not me or CS’
*NEP will help India to become 3rd largest economy
Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Nov 29: Amidst raging controversy over State Universities Act, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today said the Government is flexible on many issues and will consider suggestions given by the Higher Education experts as this sector has to be run by them and not the Government or the administration.
His remarks came amidst opposition to the State Universities Act by some of the University Associations, faculty and other bodies who cited that the Universities will lose autonomy if the new Act is implemented.
Even ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also expressed reservations over the bill.
“The State Universities Act is under discussions these days. I talked to Kansal (Rohit), outgoing Administrative Secretary of Higher Education Department, but he is now proceeding on the Central deputation and couldn’t hold discussions with you,” Sinha said addressing an event at Padma Shri Padma Sachdev Government PG College for Women, Gandhi Nagar which was attended among others by Vice Chancellors of various Universities and Principals of Degree Colleges.
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“We are flexible on many issues,” the Lieutenant Government said.
Asserting that some basic issues were incorporated (in the State Universities Act) after lengthy consultations, he, however, said: “Your suggestions will be considered” (a reference towards Higher Education experts present among the gathering).
“After all, the Higher Education has to be run by you and not me or the Chief Secretary,” Sinha said pointing towards the experts.
At the same time, he said, he will urge them to ensure that the system in place should be such that “we achieve the targets as I have mentioned”.
Asserting that the bill was brought after lot of consultations, Sinha said he has discussed the issue with many Vice Chancellors.
The Lieutenant Governor was all praise for outgoing Administrative Secretary of Higher Education Department Rohit Kansal for doing excellent work in the department in short span of time. He expressed confidence that Kansal will return soon saying they will miss him.
It may be mentioned here that Kansal is proceeding on Central deputation.
The Lieutenant Governor said India has become world’s fifth largest economy.
“We are a five trillion dollar economy and at fifth place in the world today. We want to become 10 trillion dollar economy to reach the third place in the world,” he asserted.
Sinha pointed out that even in ancient times when India was called ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ (golden sparrow), “it was a strong economy because we were knowledge economy and knowledge superpower”.
The country can again become so because of the New Education Policy (NEP), he said.
Earlier the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched key initiatives of National Education Policy-2020 today at an event held at Padma Shri Padma Sachdev Government PG College for Women, Gandhi Nagar.
In order to supplement the successful implementation of NEP-2020 in a paperless mode, various digital initiatives have been launched such as, e-Samarth portal, feedback portal, Biometric attendance portal, Sparrow portal, and Annual Transfer Portal to bring transparency and accountability in the department.
An official handout siad: the Lt Governor underlined that inter-disciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary education are at the heart of National Education policy to train future innovators and leaders.
” Environmental, scientific, technological transformation & globalisation has increased the pace of socio-economic changes. Problem-based learning will make the students familiar with real-world situations & develop thinking and creativity skills,” he added.
National Education Policy will play a significant role in making India a Knowledge super power. “Since, the government educational institutions are equipped with requisite tools and resources at par with private institutions, we need to assess our national and global ranking and take corrective measures”.
The recommendations implemented in UG Program of all the colleges from 2022-23 session will bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge & practical skills, provide resources and choice for research and flexibility in completing degree programme, Sinha said.
He highlighted the transformation taking place in the education sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said: The future higher education & learning will be more dynamic, adaptable and personalized like a liquid learning model platform to seamlessly blend the ideas from different disciplines to prepare students for varied & comprehensive knowledge in rapidly shifting world.
The Lt Governor also emphasized that teachers and students need to capitalize on the advances in Science & Humanities for reorganizing classrooms and working world experience with focus largely on research and values that provide with skills and knowledge relevant for today and tomorrow.
National Education Policy promotes collaborations between disciplines to foster innovation and creativity. In future sustainable technological advances will be driven by people having an interdisciplinary approach, he added.
Sinha stressed on developing future-oriented skills among the youth, promoting research and strengthening the academia-industry relationship.
Degree Colleges shall be encouraged to start the skill development courses identified from the skill sector council under the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). These courses shall be taught in partnership with industry where component of 12 credits taught by the College as professional knowledge and the component of 18 credits taken as professional training from industry. In the initial stage, 50 colleges have been identified to start the skill development courses, the Lt Governor said.
The Lt Governor asked the teachers and faculty members to promote the startup ecosystem in Higher Education. He further called upon students to nurture critical thinking.
Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt Governor, speaking on the occasion, highlighted the need for effective utilization of all the resources for preparing the youth to be future leaders.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary entrusted upon the Educational institutions to empower the students through education and providing them with skills training and advanced learning to adapt to the dynamic needs of the job market. He also called upon the universities to regularly engage in course content revision. J&K will be among the front runners in implementing NEP 2020, right from kindergarten to providing PhDs, he added.
Rohit Kansal, Principal Secretary to the Government, Higher Education Department highlighted the steps taken by the Higher Education department towards implementation of NEP-2020. He also spoke on the key features of initiatives launched today.
The occasion also witnessed signing of MoUs between J&K’s Higher Education Department with SKUAST-Jammu, SKUAST Kashmir, Jammu University, Kashmir University for sharing of agro based skills, and research based knowledge, life skills courses and mentoring of colleges respectively, to better equip the students.
The Lt Governor launched a book on “Implementing National Education Policy”. Principals of different Colleges were felicitated by the Lt Governor for getting NAAC accreditation.
On the occasion, impressive cultural performances were showcased by local artists highlighting the rich culture and heritage of Jammu Kashmir.
Prof. Ravinder Kumar Sinha, VC, SMVDU; Prof. Nilofar Khan, VC, University of Kashmir; Dr J.P. Sharma, VC, SKUAST-J; Prof. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, VC, SKUAST-K; Prof Bechan Lal, VC, Cluster University Jammu; Dr. Yasmeen Ashai, Director Colleges; Prof. Minu Mahajan, Principal PSPS Govt. PG College for Women, Gandhi Nagar; HoDs, principals of various colleges and students in large numbers were present during the launching ceremony.