VC’s, Academics Call On President

Srinagar – The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, today called on Vice Chancellors and educationists to imbibe Tagore’s spirit of universalism and pluralism. He made these remarks to a group of intellectuals at the Raj Bhavan this evening after receiving a briefing on higher education scenario in J&K.

Addressing the participants, the President called upon them to not just achieve high standards but also maintain them on a sustained basis. He informed them that he has asked the Minister of Human Resource Development to convene a conference of Central University Vice Chancellors so that problems affecting higher education in the country can be discussed in detail. He complimented the gathering for their contributions to higher education and reminiscenced   how Prime Minister Nehru once said if he was given an option, he would choose the job of Chancellor of Vishwabharati University over being the Prime Minister of India. Stating that he grew up in the environs of Shantiniketan, the President called upon the intellectuals to imbibe and implement in their university the spirit of universalism and pluralism that Tagore expounded. The President also said a country like India with a billion plus population had no option but to deal; with the dual challenge of quantity and quality simultaneously.  

Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, moderated the discussions and informed the President about the rapid growth of higher education in the State in recent years with the establishment of many new Universities and Colleges across the State.  
The participants of the meeting put forth several suggestions, including the need to emphasize quality of teaching and research, the importance of equipping students with required skills to enhance their employability, the inadequacy of infrastructure, resources and faculty as well as identifying core areas of excellence for each university.

Among those who were present on the occasion included Prof. Abdul Wahid, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Kashmir; Dr. S. S. Bloeria, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu; Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University; Dr. Tej Partap, Vice Chancellor, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir; Prof. R. N. K. Bamezai, Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University; Prof. M. P. S. Ishar, Vice Chancellor, Jammu University; Prof. A. R. Trag, Vice Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore; Prof. D. K. Arora, Vice Chancellor, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Jammu; Prof. I. A. Hamal, Vice Chancellor, Baba Ghulamshah Badshah University, Rajouri; Prof. S. Wahid, Director, Institute of Kashmir Studies; Prof. Nusrat Andrabi, Former Principal, Government Women College, Srinagar; Prof. Gul Mohammad Wani, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Kashmir University and Prof. Fozia Qazi, Head, Department of Mathematics, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipore.

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