10 Nov :A Conference of the Vice Chancellors & Directors of Central Educational Institutions was held here today at Vigyan Bhawan. It was inaugurated by Shri Arjun Singh, Minister for Human Resource Development. Smt. D. Purandeswari, Minister of State – HRD(HE); Shri R.P. Agrawal, Secretary(HE); Shri Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairman, UGC and many eminent educationists were also present on this occasion. The Conference was organized on the eve of “National Education Day”.
In his inaugural address, Shri Arjun Singhji expressed the hope that the deliberations would reinforce the collective commitment of all to meet the goals of bringing Higher Education to all along with equity, inclusiveness and excellence. Shri Arjun Singh elucidated that the principle of equity implied not merely a right of all to exist, but a right to flourish and grow. He also emphasized the need to focus on education of minorities. Minister for Human Resource Development also emphasized the need of all Central Universities and Institutions to scrupulously observe the financial discipline and the need to ensure optimum utilization of funds. He expressed the hope that the Universities will be able to achieve the objective of achieving 15% gross enrolment ratio and meet the challenges of quality and high standards of Higher Education along with the expansion of seats. He expressed the hope that the academia and the Ministry of Human Resource Development will be able to provide increasing access to high quality education to the disadvantaged groups.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Secretary (HE), Shri R.P. Agrawal emphasized the need for optimum and timely utilization of funds for providing quality infrastructure and facilities for educational institutions. He also enjoined upon the delegates the need to fulfill the vacant faculty positions especially the backlog vacancies of SC/ST/OBC teachers and non-teaching staff which is a part of our Constitutional obligation. He also emphasized the need to submit Annual Reports and audited Accounts well in time so as to enable the Ministry to place it on the Table of the Parliament.
After the Inaugural Session, a thorough review was taken on important issues like, status of utilization of financial assistance provided to Universities and Centrally funded technical institutions, progress of filling up of backlog SCs/STs vacancies for teaching and non-teaching staff, progress of filling up of reserved seats, issues relating to international cooperation and academic exchanges with foreign collaboration.
Concluding remarks were given by Smt. D. Purandeswari who emphasized the need for bring excellence even in routine jobs in the higher education system. She also emphasized the need for regular sharing of the information and joint working so as to make mid course correction as and when required in the various guidelines and procedures.
In the evening, a panel discussion was held on “Issues related to Higher Education in the XI Plan”. This was presided over by Shri R.P. Agrawal, with Prof. Sukhdeo Thorat, Prof. Goverdhan Mehta and Prof. A Gnanan as the panelists.