Four day Vice Chancellors Meet on Academic Leadership Training in Higher Education Concludes
Feb 16, 2019

The four-day Vice-chancellors’ Meet on “Academic Leadership Training in Higher Education” came to a close today. Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Renu Nanda, University of Jammu, Prof. Rajesh Talwar, Registrar SKUAST graced the valedictory function of the Meet. The day commenced with a condolence of two minutes for the martyred Indian brave-hearts, who sacrificed their lives for the national cause. Prof. Riyaz Punjabi spoke on the theme, “Building Teams and Strengthening Alliances”. He initiated the discussion with the introduction of the regional peculiarities and problems of India and also pointed out the issues pertaining to the sector of higher education in India. His main focus remained on the shift of education “from a mission to the domain of markets as a privatised commodity”.

He was quite vocal about the fact that India initially inherited a colonial education system, which was later on intervened by the state as the sponsorship and funding shifted to it. Prof. Punjabi pointed out that with the increase of population as well as technology, the education sector made a paradigm shift towards the corporate sector. He added that education started to emerge as a sort of ‘market’ after the New Economic Policy 1991 and other preceding and succeeding policies such as Punnaya Committee, National Knowledge Mission, Yashpal Committee, etc. Hence, his deliberation opened up an avenue for a thorough discussion of various educational policies India has witnessed so far.

He stressed on the rise of “providers and consumers in the higher education system with its subsequent privatisation” adding that the ‘educationists’ serve the purpose of ‘providers’ while the ‘students’ take on the role of ‘consumers’. While stressing on the syllabus being in line with market demand, Prof. Punjabi elucidated the NEP (1991) and said that the policy impacted higher education leading to inclusiveness and expansion. His illuminating speech threw light on the Indian Finance Minister’s Budget speech delivered in 2018 and the introduction of Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE). However, Prof. Punjabi suggested that the institutes of higher education should strengthen alliances with other organizations, conduct Quality Control and Exchange Programmes, revive curricula of Medicine, Social Sciences, Humanities and other areas of study.

Prof. Renu Nanda highlighted the importance of such workshops and congratulated the organisers of the event. Dr. Dharmendra Singh, Organising Secretary of the workshop presented a detailed report of the deliberations made in different sessions of the four-day workshop. Dr. J. N. Baliya proposed the vote of thanks on the occasion.