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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 07.02.2013

A one day conference of Vice Chancellors (VCs) of Central Universities of which the President is Visitor concluded on February 5, 2013 at Rashtrapati Bhavan with the VCs proposing a detailed set of recommendations on the four agenda items of the conference.

Some of the recommendations were as follows:

Agenda item 1 - Steps required for improving the quality of education and faculty in Central Universities to bring it on par with the top universities of the world

• Freedom to recruit short term faculty and young faculty from India and abroad at various levels as well as institution of post-doctoral positions.

• Relaxation, in terms of experience, in the case of outstanding scholars for recruitment purposes.

• Set up an independent Council for Central Universities

(VCs in their individual presentations also highlighted the need to speedily fill up faculty vacancies in Central Universities and the posts of Visitors nominees)

Agenda item 2 - Steps needed to extend the reach of education through extension work in contiguous areas

• Each University to connect itself with the community - identify a cluster of affiliates – create a consortium of stakeholders.

• Universities will nurture and develop "Lok Vidya”, traditional knowledge and skills.

• Universities to reach out to discover and prepare a Directory of innovators, project and facilitate grass root innovators, help them with production, protection of property rights.

• Establish Innovation Centres/ research parks in Central Universities where possible.

• Tap the local cultural reservoir and institutionalise the University’s support to local arts, establish specific programmes with help of private sector.

Agenda item 3 - Use of National Knowledge Network effectively in the Central Universities

• Creating greater awareness about the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programmes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

• Establish education technology cells in each Central University to devise programmes for the maximum use of the education technology tools and to focus on content development.

• Utilize video conferencing facilities; set up e-class rooms; hold workshops on the use of ICT; use e-content in regular curriculum transactions; and host class room teaching videos on the university website for access by other institutions.

Agenda item 4 - Suggestions to improve the Visitor-University interface within the existing statutory framework of each Central University

• Creation of an ‘Inspired Teachers’ Network’ and an ‘Innovators Club’ within each Central University.

• Periodic interaction between the Visitor and the inspired teachers and innovators.

• Instituting Visitor’s Awards for exceptional performance in research.

• Exceptional students from each Central University to have an opportunity to interact with the Visitor at Rashtrapati Bhavan on a periodic basis.

• Technology enabled interface/interaction between the Visitor and the Central Universities through regular tele and video conferencing.

In his concluding remarks the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee expressed his satisfaction with the outcome and pointed out that it was the first time a whole day conference was being held where 40 VCs of Central Universities exchanged their views with himself as well as the Prime Minister, Union Ministers of Human Resource Development and Chairman of University Grants Commission. He thanked the VCs for the recommendations made and said they will be examined in detail by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for speedy implementation. He accepted the recommendation that VCs conference would be an annual exercise. He also suggested the setting up of a committee of VCs to follow up on the recommendations.

The President said Vice Chancellors should identify inspired teachers to interact with each other as well as students. Innovation Clubs should be set up in each university and exhibitions of innovations be organized.

The President said during his future visits to universities he would interact with inspired teachers and innovators. He called upon the universities to establish at least one centre of excellence each and to enhance collaboration with specialists from India and abroad. He also called upon the VCs to make greater use of the information technology tools made available by Ministry of Human Resource Development and promised that he himself would be available to interact with students and teachers through video conferencing.

The President called upon the VCs and MHRD to try and fill up vacancies to faculty positions within six months to the best extent possible and assured that vacancies of Visitor’s nominees would also be filled up in three to six months.

This release issued at 1430 hrs