International Conference On Themes Of Higher Education : Prospects Of Gujarat, At Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar.

25 - Nov - 2010


Workshop Photos

   

     International Conference on"Themes of Higher Education: Prospects of Gujarat"

organized by

Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat

and

Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gandhinagar

   ___________________________________________________________________________________

Report of the Major Issues Discussed at the Conference

Proceedings of the First Day (25th November, 2010)

Inaugural Session:

The inaugural session of the International Conference ‘Themes of Higher Education : Prospects of Gujarat’ held on  November  25th &26th 2010, at Pandit  Deendayal Petroleum University, Gandhinagar began with invocation. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the conference by lighting the lamp to mark the auspicious beginning of the conference. Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Principal Secretary, HE made the welcome address and shared the vision of the Hon’ble Chief Minister for development of Higher Education. Prof Ramesh Goyal, Convener , International Conference (Vice Chancellor, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda) briefly introduced the conference and pointed out that it is a unique occasion with 600 participants which includes over 35 universities in the State, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors and gold medalists students as its members to commemorate the “Golden Jubilee” year of Gujarat.  This was followed by release of Souvenir of the conference and ‘Glimpses of Higher Education’ prepared by Saurashtra University by Shri Ramanlal Vora, Minister of Education. Smt Vasuben Trivedi, Minister of Education Higher and Technical Education released Education Journals. The Key Note Address was delivered by Prof Vivienne Baumfield, Professor of Pedagogy, Policy and Innovation who emphasized on the following:

Focus of educational development in future should be on internationalization rather than on globalization since the latter connotes homogenization while the former is based on mutuality of interests. Internationalization is about building relationships and partnerships between different people, even as they retain their differences.

For the above, universities must identify first the areas of mutual interest and work upon them

Some of the areas for such fruitful partnerships could include: creating greater international capabilities of faculty members, increasing the international experience of the staff, exchange of research outputs, creation of networks of alumni etc.

While reaping the advantages of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) led information, dissemination, education should be focused on analytical aspects of knowledge.

Need to develop learner-centred and enquiry-oriented pedagogy

In his inaugural speech Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi welcomed the participants and delegates to the International Conference, being organized as part of Swarnim Gujarat Celebrations. At the very outset, he assured the audience that all the deliberations in different sessions will be taken seriously and whatever would be recommended by the experts and participants in the conference will be implemented by the Government in full earnest. The major issues he focused in his speech were:

There should be a concrete mechanism for continuous policy level inputs, ideas and feedback from academicians. A system of ongoing consultation with them for sound policy making processes should be created.

Our millennia-old heritage of spirituality should be re-interpreted and re-applied to address and resolve contemporary societal problems like consumerism, individualism, environmental degradation, climate change, community conflicts, psychological stress etc.

To achieve the above, the traditional knowledge should be re-formulated in the language and style familiar with and acceptable to modern minds, particularly younger generation.

Greater efforts to document, preserve and disseminate knowledge contained in Sanskrit language and Sanskrit traditions should be initiated as India's contribution towards the present world of knowledge.

Even as we learn from the universal principles of science, we should seek to apply them locally through locally adapted and appropriate technology

More life- skills oriented education based on day-to-day living experiences should be promoted

Emphasis must be laid by the Government for move out of the "file" and relate to "life"...

Towards the close of his inspiring speech he called all Vice Chancellor’s, University and College authorities to implement all academic initiatives for revamping Higher Education in the State. Moreover, he called upon them to make students and other member participate in the Gujarat Quiz.

The speech of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, was followed by the Vote of Thanks by Shri. D.J.Pandian, Principal Secretary, Energy and Petrochemical Department who expressed his gratitude to all the dignitaries on the dais as well as the participants who had come from various Universities and colleges for the Conference.

The first Technical Session dealt with the topic ‘Higher Education in the Era of Globalization’:

The session was chaired by

Professor Jonathan Osmond, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students, Cardiff University, U.K.

Professor N. V. Vasani, Director General, Nirma University, Ahmedabad

The speakers included

Mr. Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor Amity University, Rajasthan

Dr. G. D. Sharma, Former Secretary, University Grant Commission

Dr. Sudarshan Iyengar, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad

 

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and recommended the following in their deliberations:  

Use of Information and Communication Technology(ICT) to carry out teaching-learning in trans-boundary manner is a major benefit of globalization

Need for curricular reforms to make knowledge more relevant to the economic and social needs of the globalizing age

India should also work to reduce the multiplicity of regulatory agencies in higher education sector to facilitate growth and expansion of this sector

Creation of pool of knowledge and researches in local languages is necessary in order to reduce over-dependence upon English and make globalization more equitable

Globalization and application of technologies in higher education sector have reduced the prospects of mentoring. This needs to be addressed by experts so as to make the exercise more meaningful

Emphasis was laid on collaboration in teaching research and extension activities with the Indian and foreign Universities by keeping the case of Amity University in view.

The second Technical Session dealt with ‘Value-Oriented Education in Higher Education’:

The session was chaired by

Padmashree Professor Sitanshu Mehta, Former Vice Chancellor Saurashtra University

Dr. Bimal Patel, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

The speakers included

Professor Kapil Kapoor, Former Pro Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Mrs. Padma Ramchandran, Former Vice Chancellor, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Professor S. M. Chitre, Emeritus Professor, Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences, Mumbai University

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and in brief recommended the following:  

Foundation course on value education giving holistic and all-encompassing moral orientation to students in a non-sectarian manner should be introduced in colleges and universities

The goal of value-oriented education should be on the balanced development of mind, body and spirit – on the education of heart and the head

The value of gender justice and gender equality needs to be cemented further among the youth through the teaching-learning process in higher educational institutions

Issues and problems that concern rural India and common masses should be incorporated in the curricula of higher education, which have become urban-centric and elitist in orientation.

The teachers and administrators in the higher education sector must first practice the values that they wish to inculcate among their students

 The study of classical Indian texts like Mahabharat in the curriculum to balance the dominating influence of western values on younger generation should be introduced.

Kriyayogais one subject that can be included in the value education curriculum

The responsibility of value education should also be shouldered by the family and civil society organizations in addition to educational institutions

"Value the teacher, value the student and value the sanctity of the classroom should be our motto" in the field of value oriented education

Value education framework should be evolved keeping the South Asian context in mind and through their involvement.

In the session on Restructuring of Higher Education I:

The Chairpersons of the session were:

Professor Nigel Weatherhill, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham, U.K.

Professor Bakul Dholakia, Former Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

The Speakers included:          

Professor H. A. Rangnath, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council

Professor L. K. Maheshwari, Former Vice Chancellor, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani

 

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and recommended the following in their discoveries:  

Restructuring of higher education should be carried out keeping the youth at the centre of this exercise and giving them a legitimate role in the process of this restructuring

Making efforts to ensure that the growth rate of the capacity expansion in higher education keeps pace with the growth rate of population.

Introduction of performance-based incentives and disincentives for teachers in higher education to sustain and improve quality, though difficult, can be considered on a selective basis

Higher education should no longer be seen as a luxury or privilege but as a necessity for all. Hence the government must continue its full support to the state universities, even as it facilitates the creation of private universities and private initiatives in higher education

Instead of a piecemeal and fragmentary approach in planning higher education, we need a more holistic and integrated framework.

Institutions of higher education should not be set up on the basis of excessive specialization but in a more holistic and inclusive manner, incorporating components of liberal arts with professional education

Five challenges in the process of restructuring of higher education: expansion, equity, empowerment, excellence and evolution

Choice Based Credit System(CBCS) and the possibility of transfer of credits, shift to new programmes after first enrolment should be encouraged

The scope for application-oriented teaching methods and modules should be expanded

The next Technical Session on November 26th,2010 was chaired by

Professor Ramesh Goyal, Vice Chancellor, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Professor S. C. Sahasrabuddhe, Director, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Technology,  Gandhinagar

 

The speakers included

 

Professor Amar Kalro, Provost, Ahmedabad Unviersity, Ahmedabad

Professor Murmur Mukhopadhyaya, Director, Educational Technology and Management Academy

Professor Arun Nigvekar, Former Chairman, University Grants Commission

Professor Utpal Sharma, Dean, School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad

 

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and in brief recommended the following:  

 

More universities should be created to meet with the rising demand for higher education

Some complex issues concerning evaluation, curriculum development, multiple regulatory agencies, research finance and infrastructure should be resolved in order to propel the growth of this sector

 

Exposure to liberal arts, humanities and social sciences should be encouraged in professional courses

 

Higher education should focus on physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual domains to optimize human potential

 

Structural changes including mechanism for financial restructuring

 

Ability to learn rather than what is learnt is critical

 

The ultimate goal of restructuring of higher education should be to have a knowledge-creating society

 

More measures of accountability involving both the government as well as universities and colleges should be codified and legalized

 

Higher Education Finance Corporation for funding universities as well as students should be set up by all states and this corporation should try to augment funds through market-related investments

 

The fifth Technical Session on ‘Redesigning Curricula in Higher Education I’ was chaired by

 

Professor Peter Tymns, Head, School of Education, Durham University, U.K

Professor Veena Mistry, Provost, Navrachana University

 

The speakers included

Ms. Jayanti Ravi, Commissioner, Higher Education

Professor Keith Gilbert, Director, Centre for Disability, Sport and Health University of East London, U.K.

 

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and made the following points:

Ms Jayanti Ravi, made presentation on various initiatives for revamping higher educational in Gujarat like Choice Based Credit System(CBCS), National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), Capacity Building, Sandhan, Saptdhara, UDISHA.

 

Sports education and creation of sporting infrastructure in universities and colleges would go a long way in raising the levels of competence of students and upgrading the sporting standards of the nation.

 

Ms Jayanti Ravi, Commissioner, Higher Education made a presentation on the glimpses of the initiatives of Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat, Department of Education, Government of Gujarat for further growth and quality enhancement in the higher educational development in Gujarat .

 

Professor Peter Tymns spoke about pedagogical issues pertaining to changes and innovations that need to be made in Higher Education.

 

The sixth Technical Session was on ‘Redesigning Curricula in Higher Education II’:

 

The session was chaired by

Professor B. A. Prajapati, Vice Chancellor, Veer Narmad South Gujarat University

Professor A. N. Maheshwari, Former Chairperson, National Council for Teacher Education

 

The speakers included

Professor Malcolm Voyce, Macquarie Law School, Macquarie University, Australia

Professor A. K. Agrawal, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Technological University, Ahmedabad

Professor R. Govinda,Vice Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration

 

The speakers and chairs of the sessions focused on issues pertaining to restructuring the higher education, and recommended the following:   

Development of green technologies in education should be encouraged

 

One can learn lesson from the manufacturing sector of improving quality of  products and compete with the foreign universities

 

Uneven growth of education should be discouraged as this leads to unequal opportunities

 

Higher education is changing from being a  public good to becoming a private good

Curricula should integrate learning, research and technological innovation

Learning to live together  as one community should also become part of higher education

The Valedictory Session held at 16:30 hrs on 26th November, 2010 began with the welcome of the guests, Shri Saurabhbhai  Patel, Hon’ble Minister of State for Energy, Mines, Planning and Finance and Smt.  Vasuben Trivedi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Higher & Technical Education, Government of Gujarat with books.

In his welcome address Professor A K Singh, Convener, Academic Initiatives, Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat(KCG) spoke about the historic occasion in the form of the International Conference being organized by KCG as a part of the golden jubilee celebrations. He said that our best tribute to the dreams of founders of the state would be in the form of our commitment and implementation of various academic initiatives to revamp Higher Education in the State so as to move towards innovative Gujarat. It was followed by report of the conference by Ms Jayanti Ravi, Commissioner, Higher Education. She gave quintessential report of different sessions of the conference, and proposed that four groups viz. (i) Governance, (ii) Academic (iii) Research and (iv) Creation of Knowledge, Innovation and Collaborations should be formed.

Various stakeholders would join different groups and the reports of different groups would be prepared and finally submitted to the Department by April 2011. (A copy of the letter that has been sent is enclosed)

Thereafter, Dr Hasmukh Adhia, Principal Secretary, Education, Government of Gujarat, complimented participants and delegates for their participation and he said that it is now time to act so that the Higher Education in the State becomes compatible with International standards. The Valedictory Address was delivered by Prof Jonathan Osmond, Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Students, University of Cardiff expressed his happiness at being a part of the Conference on an important topic dealing with many issues. He emphasized that the goal of higher education should be to impart knowledge, skill and competency. In addition, it should also inculcate moral and cultural values so as to transform the student into responsible citizens. Shri Saurabhbhai Patel, Hon Minister of State for Mines, Energy & Planning spoke about the growing need of the industries and extended his help to the Department of Education in this regard. He appreciated the efforts of the KCG particularly the placement initiative. Smt Vasuben Trivedi, Hon Minister of State for Higher and Technical Education, expressed her happiness on the organization of the conference and complimented the organizers on behalf of the Department of Education. On this occasion, books and publications by University Granth Nirman Board were released by Smt Vasuben Trivedi, Hon’ble Minister of Higher and Technical Education and Shri Saurabhbhai Patel, Hon Minister of State for Mines, Energy & Planning. This was followed by a vote of thanks by Professor N R Dave, Executive Chairman, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University who thanked his colleagues, the Guest of Honor, Ministers, dignitaries on the dais and all other participants of the conference.