Diversity, equality, inclusivity make higher education comprehensive: President Murmu

Two-day vistor’s conference hosted by President ends

July 11, 2023 09:13 pm | Updated 09:13 pm IST - New Delhi

President Droupadi Murmu addresses the concluding session of Visitor’s Conference, at Rastrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on July 11, 2023.

President Droupadi Murmu addresses the concluding session of Visitor’s Conference, at Rastrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, on July 11, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

A two-day visitor’s conference, hosted by President Droupadi Murmu and visitors of about 160 Centrally sponsored educational institutions, discussed diversity, equality, inclusivity and wellness in higher education institutions in the country. Representatives and academics from various Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), National Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research and Central Universities attended the conference along with Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other senior Ministry officials.

Ms. Murmu congratulated the institutions for discussing issues of equality and fraternity separately and said institutions of higher education were among the most effective platforms for promoting the Constitutional ideals of justice, equality, fraternity, individual dignity and respect for women. “All these dimensions of sensitivity will make higher education comprehensive,” she said.

On Tuesday, the theme of discussion in the conference was “Education for Sustainable Development: Building a better world”. Sub-themes such as contributions to the realisation of National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, Internationalisation efforts and G-20, research contributions and recognitions and plans and action items for Amrit Kaal were also taken up during the meeting. The outcome of deliberations was presented to Ms. Murmu.

Student suicides

The session on Diversity, Equality, Inclusivity (DEI) and Wellness was headed by IIT Madras Director V. Kamakoti. “This session discussed all efforts taken by institutions on DEI and wellness efforts. The DEI efforts included reduction of gender bias, ensuring ease of living for physically challenged, steps to improve participation of women in leadership roles,” a Ministry release said. “The deliberations brought out a wide range of suggestions on how to ensure the happiness, well-being and development of our students and faculty. The focus of the discussion also included the role of Higher Educational Institutions in improving the Gross Enrolment Ratio as envisaged by the National Education Policy and reducing the dropout rates,” it added. Prof. Kamakoti had said here on Monday that IIT Madras had adopted a 10-pronged strategy to address the issue of student suicides.

University Grants Commission Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar chaired the panel discussion on ‘Contributions to the realisation of the NEP.

A summary of all efforts taken by the Ministry was presented with case studies of successful implementation of the policy by different institutions. The discussions emphasised that higher educational institutions need to focus more on technology integration. “National digital university (e-vishwavidyalaya) is expected to make quality education accessible to a large section for our country. While many institutions have taken steps towards internationalisation, there is a need for increasing academic collaboration with top universities in the world and attracting foreign students to study in India. Our institutions need to enhance our research capabilities further and create a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and incubation that contributes towards a self-reliant nation,” the Centre said.

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