Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan urged South Indian state university Vice-Chancellors to take responsibility for developing innovative ideas that will lead to a better India through scientific excellence in research and a modern higher education system for future generations. He made these remarks at the South Zone Vice-Chancellors’ Meet on Tuesday.
The Vice-Chancellors of 80 South Indian State universities participated.
Addressing the gathering as chief guest at the two-day Conference on ‘Research and Excellence for Transformative Higher Education’ organised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) at Andhra University Convention Centre on Beach Road, the Governor said that India should be in a position to lead the world in the future, especially in research.
The country, with the efforts of many stakeholders, has made great strides in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and has also helped other countries in fighting the pandemic. Similarly, the knowledge and efforts of Vice-Chancellors are highly needed to transform the country’s higher education sector, he said.
Guest of Honour K. Hemachandra Reddy of Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) spoke on the occasion. “With the vision of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government has been working to bring about a change in the education system from ‘KG to PG’ (kindergarten to post-graduate level) for the last three-and-a-half years. Many reforms have been brought especially in the higher education system. Most of the curriculum brought in the New Education Policy-2020 is already being implemented in the State. The State government has undertaken major policy programmes like Quality Assurance Cell, AP Higher Education Planning Board, formation of five regional cluster groups and State Research Board,” he said.
The State government has so far spent ₹12,401 crore on education welfare schemes to benefit 40 lakh students from 2,601 colleges affiliated to 53 public universities in the State, he added.
AU Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy said that AU is working earnestly to follow the principles of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat in Education, Research and Entrepreneurship.
AIU president Suranjan Das emphasised on the need for higher education in local languages as well as English.
AIU secretary general Pankaj Mittal said that 924 universities are members of AIU, which has a solid history of 98 years. She emphasised on the importance of increasing the number of patents. The reputation of Indian universities is nowhere close to the universities in other countries. One IIT reached the 300th rank, while six universities were ranked between 351 and 400, she added.
“Though there are several arguments for Indian universities not finding a place in the top 200 universities, one point of consensus is the poor research output of Indian universities. This is due to a number of factors including lack of adequate funding, inadequate infrastructure, lack of quality faculty, intake of poor-quality students in higher education and insufficient support from the government among other reasons,” Ms. Mittal said.
The meet will conclude on Wednesday and a policy document of the meet will be prepared and presented to the Government of India.