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UGC chairman urges varsities to organise workshops

Bhubaneswar: Advocating updating of curriculum in order to prepare youth to face the modern world, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Ved Prakash today advised universities and institutions of higher education to hold annual workshops.

Universities failing to do this will lag behind, Prakash said delivering a seminar lecture on ‘Role of Research on Massification of Quality Higher Education’ at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University here.

With a Gross Enrolment Rate of 23 per cent, India has achieved “massification of higher education”, he stated, while stressing that research universities are need of the hour, a release from KIIT stated.

Arguing against compartmentalisation of disciplines, he pointed out that new knowledge is always found at the intersection of disciplines, it said.

The country needs universities that have inspiring, living and learning environment and are able to produce most scientific and talented workforce, Prakash stated.

“Higher education is a state responsibility. However, in India we have 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 and with the establishment of a promising university like KIIT, Dr Achyuta Samanta has joined this league of great men” the UGC Chairman remarked.

Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Prakash said, “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for the adventure of ideas and for the search for truth.”

Role of teachers will continue to be paramount despite the trend towards online education, he told an 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 said.