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Need for a new approach in higher education, says new Rajasthan University V-C

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Listing his priorities: New Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Furqan Qamar speaking to the media in Jaipur on Thursday.
Listing his priorities: New Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University Furqan Qamar speaking to the media in Jaipur on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The new Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University, Prof. Furqan Qamar, on Thursday emphasised the need for adopting an “inclusive approach” in higher education by focusing on the under-privileged sections and called for promotion of innovative ideas to meet the challenges of the current knowledge economy.

Talking to reporters after assuming office at the university campus here, Prof. Qamar said an equitable distribution of the gains of education would help remove imbalances in society and ensure delivery of “demographic dividends” from the country’s young population.

“I firmly believe that scientific development, innovation and removal of imbalances are crucial for our knowledge economy, in which the institutions of higher learning can make a significant contribution,” said Prof. Qamar, till recently an adviser to the Planning Commission and professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Forty-nine-year-old Prof. Qamar – who is the youngest Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University so far – pointed out that the Planning Commission had fixed an outlay of Rs.85,000 crore for education during the 11th Five Year Plan to ensure faster and inclusive growth that could be achieved by expansion and access to education.

While affirming that he would use his experience with the Planning Commission in the performance of his duties as the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Qamar said higher education had come out of the “elitist club” and was now available to poor students, residents of remote villages and sons and daughters of daily wage-earners on equal terms.

“As the head of an institution of higher learning, it is my responsibility to ensure that the interests of students as primary stake-holders are protected and the education imparted to them is relevant for their future pursuits,” affirmed Prof. Qamar, who has specialised in educational planning, finance and management.

The V-C said the university administration would adhere to certain norms to strike a balance between the expectations of society and the need to evolve a workable academic atmosphere on the campus: “The university cannot function in isolation. It is our responsibility to impart quality education to the students.”

Prof. Qamar pointed out that Rajasthan would benefit immensely from the Union Government’s recent decision to establish a Central university, an Indian Institute of Technology and an Indian Institute of Management in the State. Prof. Qamar said he would try to improve the university’s financial health by getting Central funds for research, academic activities and information technology applications. Asked about the scope for allowing elections to students’ union stayed on court orders, he said a “collective decision” would be taken after studying the judgment and the Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations.

Born in 1960 at Ghazipur, a small town in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Prof. Qamar obtained his doctorate on “Financial management in residential universities” from Lucknow University in 1989. He was a professor at the Centre for Management Studies in Jamia Millia Islamia since 2002.


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