VC ImageA University needs to possess certain prime requisites, like an itinerant acumen for innovation and fostering skill and talent in research, scientific knowledge and vocational pursuits. Promotion of inclusive learner centric education encompassing leadership and entrepreneurial spirit for productive and creative careers, meaningful lives and responsible citizenship is the hallmark of any institution of higher learning. University should characterize an inclusive community of scholars for emerging as a leader in higher education inspiring excellence and innovation. Commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, thought leadership and creativity embedded in student centered education should foster personal and intellectual elevation for that 'mantra' has to be access, expansion, equity, excellence, entrepreneurship and employability for growth, prosperity and social equity. New universities have to help India to become a knowledge economy based on transformational networks that generates globally driven advantages, opportunities and broad spectrum choices for the dynamic workforce. Legions of unemployed youth not finding any place under sun could be a challenge for national security and social upheaval, turning demographic advantage into a potential disaster. Present focus of higher learning should aim at seamlessly integrating talent pool and skill sets with evolving market requirements. Intellectual capabilities and thought leadership bringing synergy between academia and industry to partnership academia and industry, joint ventures for a vibrant and innovative outcome has to be a mission rather than being merely input centric. Being strategically located, the Central University of Jammu has to become a coordinating point for wider academic, intellectual, lingual and cultural interactions with numerous divergent regions. It needs to transcend territorial boundaries to create an interactive platform for neighboring countries to foster better understanding to reduce trust deficit for peace and harmony across entire region. The students have to equip and prepare themselves for meeting the challenge. Research and innovation networks should address five grand challenges of food, water, shelter, energy, and employment in the region.

Prof. Ashok Aima