Sixteen Vice-Chancellors attending three-day session on leadership qualities.

“Since one never stops learning I find nothing unusual in Vice-Chancellors like me attending this programme,” says B.S. Rajpurohit, Vice-Chancellor of Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, fielding questions from the media during a break on day two of a three-day workshop on leadership qualities at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K), on Thursday.

Dr. Rajpurohit, who was teaching management before becoming Vice-Chancellor, is among the 16 Vice-Chancellors on the IIM-K campus participating in the workshop.

Manoj Soni, Vice-Chancellor of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, also a participant, found the IIM-K programme in tune with the needs of the higher education sector.

“For example, this morning we had a session on managing change which I thought was highly relevant since the higher education sector is undergoing major changes,” Dr. Manoj Soni said. He was confident the programme would transform him into a better leader.

Prof. Madhulika Kaushik, Education Specialist for Higher Education, with the Canada-based Commonwealth of Learning (CoL), which is supporting the workshop, said the prime objective of the event was to develop a module that would be put on the internet. This would be available across the world and provide guidance for Vice-Chancellors in 54 countries, which are members of the Commonwealth, to hone their leadership qualities.

Debashis Chatterjee, Director of IIM-K, explaining the programme's objectives remarked: “It is time to show the world the Indian model for education development.”

Dr. Chatterjee was in a team of educationists from India who attended a programme at Yale University to discuss the need to establish a world class university. The programme at the IIM-K was an offshoot of the event at Yale University.

Vice-Chancellors with finely honed leadership qualities were needed for universities that were proposed to be set up in the country in line with an understanding that emerged at a recent meeting held in the United States between delegations headed by Hillary Clinton and Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

Dr. Debashis Chatterjee said the Hillary-Kapil Sibal summit, which he attended, had led to initiatives that would bring about changes in the education sector.

These changes would be made through programmes being hosted by the IIM-K so that “India could be positioned as a key knowledge provider for the world. What the IT industry has done for India, the education sector should also be able to do for our country,” Dr. Debashis Chatterjee said.

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