Round table stresses on the need to make universities inclusive institutions
The heads of three universities discussed their hopes and concerns about the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 at BCC&I Annual Education Conclave 2020.
The VC Round Table comprised Prof. Malabika Sarkar of Ashoka University, Prof. Dr. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay of Sister Nivediata University (SNU) and Dr. Suranjan Das of Jadavpur University.
The virtual session was moderated by Prof. Saikat Maitra of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), West Bengal.
Excerpts from what the speakers had to say:
Prof. Malabika Sarkar, Vice-chancellor, Ashoka University: We are moving into a different pattern from the one we have always followed. From a British model, we are being asked to move to a model which is really a North American model. Three key features of this shift are the emphasis on multidisciplinarity in the university system, employment and access, and research. From my perspective, making this operational is going to take some time.
Dr. Suranjan Das, Vice-chancellor, Jadavpur University: The NEP is tremendously student-centric. The recommendations of the NEP fall broadly into two categories — the remodelling of the regulatory system and restructuring of the teaching-learning process.
Thinkers from Kant to Tagore had distinguished the modern university from its medieval forerunners by envisaging it as an autonomous sphere in relation to the emerging modern nation-state. We need to constitute universities as inclusive institutions that will produce learners who’ll not only theorise and question existing knowledge but become embodiments of modernity.
Prof. Dr. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice-chancellor, Sister Nivedita University: Higher education must form the basis of knowledge creation and we have to contribute deeply to a growing national economy. The purpose of this education is therefore more than the creation of greater opportunities for individual employment. It should present the key to more vibrant, socially engaged and cooperative communities.