Bhubaneswar: Odisha governor Dr. S.C. Jamir calls for a sustained focus on quality, relevance and excellence in universities to meet global standards on academic and research.

Jamir, while addressing the inaugural session of Conference of Vice-Chancellors in Raj Bhavan, here on Monday said the need of the hour is to nurture inter-disciplinary education, engage in cutting edge research and foster creativity and innovation. He asked universities to make every effort for both students and teachers to acquire multi-tasking skills in order to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems.

“21st century bestows upon the universities a great responsibility to provide to the nation inspired and ignited minds of graduates and post graduates and scholars of eminence to fuel unprecedented growth and development and advance the frontiers of knowledge and shrink the boundaries of ignorance. They must strive to nurture creativity and innovativeness in abundance to manifest the fullest human potential.” said Jamir.

Terming universities as the repositories of wisdom of enlightened and inspired minds, the governor urged upon making higher education a foundation to a developed, prosperous and enlightened human society.

Regarding faculty, governor urged upon universities to make best efforts to adhere to faculty-student ratio and stay focused on faculty development through training and orientation for augmenting capabilities. He asked universities to create an environment for performing better in teaching, research and outreach and explored means of larger collaboration with industries.

On changing needs and aspirations of stakeholders of higher education system, the chancellor said the existing system of governance needs to cater to the large scale requirements. He hoped the conference would gear up universities to meet challenges and become centre of excellence.

Higher education minister Anant Das, finance minister Shasi Bhusan Behera, agriculture and famers’ empowerment minister Pradeep Maharathy, tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda graced the inaugural session .

The conference deliberated at length on various agenda items such as timely conduct of examination, publication of results and distribution of certificates, creation of teaching/non-teaching posts in universities and filling up of existing posts, sports complex in all state universities, thrust on research activities and development of Centres of Excellence, campus discipline and improvement of academic ambience, audit of accounts and utilization of UGC grants, functioning of Placement Cell/Industry Academic Interface and Internship programme, grievance redressal mechanism and amendment of act and statutes/accounts manual/recruitment and promotion rules for universities.

All vice-chancellors presented their views and suggestions on different agenda items. Principal secretary to governor C.J. Venugopal coordinated the meeting. Additional chief secretary, higher education  G.V.V. Sharma were also present on the occasion.