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Eliminate class, communal distinctions that threaten country, says UGC official

The Vice-Chairman of University Grants Commission, H. Devaraj, presenting degree certificate to a candidate at the sixth convocation of Kalasalingam University at Krishnankoil in Virudhunagar district on Saturday. To his right is K. Sridharan, Chancellor of the university.— Photos: G. Moorthy.

The Vice-Chairman of University Grants Commission, H. Devaraj, presenting degree certificate to a candidate at the sixth convocation of Kalasalingam University at Krishnankoil in Virudhunagar district on Saturday. To his right is K. Sridharan, Chancellor of the university.— Photos: G. Moorthy.  

Universities must propagate clear notions of equality and social justice and help eliminate class and communal distinctions that seemed to threaten the unity of the country, said H. Devaraj, Vice-Chairman, University Grants Commission, on Saturday.

In his address at the 6th convocation of Kalasalingam University at Krishnankoil near here, Dr. Devaraj wanted the universities to have a clear idea of their social responsibilities. It was the duty of educational institutions to equip their students with a set of values. “The fundamental values of life, pursuit of truth, integrity and idealism cannot be sustained by embalming them in monuments and memorials or by inscribing them in textbooks,” he said.

Turning his attention towards students, he advised them to adopt a trans-disciplinary approach to improve and increase their competencies as they should not expect to get employed with their degrees. He felt that students should strive to enter core areas instead of clamouring for the IT sector as “anybody can enter the IT field.”

A student should be competent and also shape up as a different individual.

“It is to be understood that it is not a degree but a responsibility,” the UGC Vice-Chairman said.

Though the country had witnessed spectacular expansion of higher education system in recent years, it was also accompanied by problems like proliferation of substandard institutions, dilution of quality, failure in maintaining academic calendar, outdated curricula, lack of motivation and accountability at various levels and poor management. “Tremendous efforts will have to be made to rectify the situation.”

He regretted that the centre of gravity of research activity had drifted away from universities, which was not in sync with rest of the world.

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