Bombay: Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday called on the vice-chancellors of Maharashtra’s public universities to transform the universities into Atma Nirbhar to achieve the goal of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
Noting that many private universities are doing well through self-funding and distance learning programs, he urged public universities to take steps to effectively implement national education policies.
The governor, who is also chancellor of the state’s public universities, addressed the Vice-Chancellors’ Full Meeting of Non-Agricultural Universities of Maharashtra in Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.
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Governor Koshyari stated that the national education policy drives the culture and Indian knowledge system and asked the vice chancellors to set up small advisory committees composed of dedicated officials, professors, young people and resource people to guide them in the effective implementation of the policy in the universities to advise. The governor said he would hold a follow-up meeting of vice chancellors within six months to discuss action taken on issues agreed at the meeting.
Prime Minister Eknath Shinde, who attended the meeting, assured that the state will implement the national education policy in the best possible way. He said the state government decided to make appropriate changes to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act 2016 to bring the vice-chancellor and provincial chancellor selection process into line with University Grants Commission guidelines. He explained that the vice-chancellor selection process would be accelerated and said that new selection committees for vice-chancellor selection would soon be formed.
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Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Prime Minister, expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the poor performance of some universities in key areas such as the timely reporting of the results of various exams and asked the vice chancellors to take note of the gaps and remedy them quickly.
Mr Fadnavis expressed the need to put in place a robust digital system to effectively manage the implementation of national education policies and called for the establishment of a live dashboard to report the 17 key areas of results for the vice chancellors to monitor the situation from time to time to monitor. The deputy prime minister called for more transparency by educational institutions and said the findings of college inspection teams should be made available on college websites. He said while good progress is being made in achieving higher gross state enrollment, universities need to focus their attention on delivering educational excellence. Mr. Fadnavis expressed concern at the low rate of voter registration among college students.
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The Minister for Higher Education, Mr Chandrakant Patil, reminded the Vice-Chancellors that there is no option for universities to introduce the four-year degree from June 2023, as dictated by national education policy. He warned that action would be taken against those who did not. Patil said the government will soon form a committee of retired vice chancellors to address vice chancellors’ concerns about the implementation of national education policies.
Noting the dismal percentage of voter registration by college and college students, he said the government will pass a resolution requiring students to obtain their voter registration in order to gain admission to college.
Contrary to the goal of enrolling 50,000 students in the higher education system, Maharashtra has only enrolled 32,000 students. He urged universities to launch a campaign to encourage higher enrollments. He also reminded everyone to take note of the NEP’s recommendations regarding the provision of mother tongue education and skills development.
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Skills Development Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha urged all universities to open skills departments and develop innovative skills programs that would enable youth to find jobs locally. He said his department sent Rs 5 crore to all universities for opening centers of excellence.
Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer Mr. Shrikant Deshpande urged universities to set up electoral literacy clubs to engage students in the democratic process. He said up to 90 percent of university and college students are currently not on the voter registration list. He called for efforts by universities and the government to ensure student enrollment as voters is percentage-based.
The Principal Secretary for Higher and Technical Education, Mr. Vikas Chandra Rastogi, updated the Action Report meeting on the previous Vice-Chancellors meeting on April 7, 2018. He updated the meeting on the steps taken by the Government to implement the National Education Policy 2020 .
At the meeting, topics such as “areas of concern for the implementation of the NDP 2020”, the academic calendar of the universities, the formation of student boards of appeal, the development of user-friendly websites, the online payment facility and the unavailability of Challan, the execution of memoranda of understanding and discussed the design of self-financing courses with CSR funding and industry partnerships, NIRF ranking of universities, autonomy status of universities, implementation of the Choice Based Credit System, implementation of the recommendations of the examination board reforms, Academic examination of university faculties and centers for competitive examinations, etc. Vice-chancellors of various universities also spoke at the meeting of their worries and problems.
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