President exhorts Universities to create right environment for promoting entrepreneurship
JAMMU: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday called upon universities to become drivers of innovation, saying their focus should be on collaborative relationships with industry and government.
Delivering 14th Convocation Address of the University of Jammu, the President said the entrepreneurial activities in the universities could take various forms such as contract research, consultancy, patenting, licensing, spin outs, start-ups, incubating companies etc. It is essential that Universities create the right environment for promoting entrepreneurship amongst students as well as academicians.
He extended his good wishes to all the graduating students and hoped that they will do exceedingly well in their chosen careers in the years to come.
He said that he is glad to learn that the University of Jammu is making rapid strides in all areas of its functioning. The University through its main campus, offsite campuses, affiliated colleges and Directorate of Distance Education offers a wide range of programmes in areas such as Arts, Business Studies, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Education, Law, Engineering and Medicine. Such a vast canvas naturally enables students to fully utilize their potentialities and excel. The University is also involved in world class research through ‘A Large Ion Collider Experiment’ (ALICE) collaboration and is a part of the Indian team involved at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Experiment at the World Laboratory ‘European Council for Nuclear Research’ (CERN), Geneva. The setting up of the National Apple Germplasm Repository at its campus in Bhaderwah is indeed an important step towards conservation of an important genetic resource of the country. I congratulate the University on it being listed as one of the twenty nine universities in the country under the “Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence”(PURSE) programme of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The University has also hosted, for the first time ever in Jammu and Kashmir, the 101st session of the Indian Science Congress. These recognitions are a tribute to the quality of leadership as also, in equal measure, to the untiring efforts of the faculty, research and technical staff, students and all other stakeholders.
He further added, “It is also noteworthy that the University has been identified as a “Level 1″ point-of-presence on the National Knowledge Network, given that technology and the internet have virtually revolutionized the teaching – learning process. Indeed, it is with a sense of satisfaction that I say that the University of Jammu has created for itself a niche in the academic field. Notwithstanding these achievements, you cannot afford to be complacent and rely on your past laurels. As it is with everything else, as in the field of education also, you will need to constantly strive for excellence in a global order which is dynamic, ever-changing and dismissive of mediocrity.”
” Higher education in India faces great challenges today. On a broader platform, the XIIth Plan places a high priority on education as an instrument for achieving accelerated and inclusive growth with emphasis on expansion, excellence and equity. Quality up-gradation of state-level institutions, which account for 96 per cent of the higher education capacity, needs to be accorded high priority. The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is an important initiative in this direction”, added Sh. Mukherjee.
The President said, “An important focus area is the role of innovation in higher education. While several policy initiatives have been taken in this area, these need to be implemented effectively to revitalise and boost the higher education framework in the country. One concept that has attracted attention, and will mark a paradigm shift in higher education, is that of the Meta University. The student must be given complete flexibility and be benefited by the expertise, courses of study and infrastructure available in other Universities and institutions of higher learning. Thus, a student enrolled in a management programme in the University of Jammu should be able to take up a course in Philosophy in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra. This kind of flexibility will create an environment conducive to innovation and promote inter-disciplinary approaches. It will also expand access while making the best use of technology.”
Pranab Mukherjee added, “Another inter-linked aspect is that of innovation and entrepreneurship. Realising the centrality of innovation in the growth and development process, 2010-20 has been declared as the Decade of Innovation. India’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy 2013 emphasises boosting innovation through research and development (R&D), driven mainly by private sector participation, publishing more research papers, achieving gender parity in S&T and seeking global cooperation. It is here that University’s third axis, the first two being teaching and research, becomes critical. While it is well recognised the world over, enterprise incubation as a part of the academia – industry linkage is still at a nascent stage in India. Some IITs and IIMs have set up formal incubation centres over the years to foster innovation, research and entrepreneurial activities in technology based areas
He said the State of Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as a knowledge hub in the country with nine universities and more than 300 affiliated colleges. All these institutions would benefit by collaborating in teaching and research and establishing common research facilities. The University of Jammu should move towards establishing research clusters to enable scholars and faculty members to explore emerging research areas, especially related to local and regional needs, and to collaborate with industry and research organisations. Some of the major thrust areas would be Horticulture, Floriculture, Soil dynamics, Seismology, Organic farming, Tourism, Precious gems, Handicrafts etc. I am sure that over time the University shall boast of world class, state-of-the-art research and innovation facilities along with the necessary eco-system to sustain them.”
“Most importantly, however, it will be the quality, spirit and ethos of the students and faculty which will determine the footprints you leave on the sands of time. All the graduating students would do well to remember that they are central to the vision of an India which is dynamic, prosperous, equitous, all embracing and inclusive. I can do no better than quote Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of Nation:
“You are the hope of the future. You will be called upon, when you are discharged from your College, to enter upon public life to lead the poor people of this country. I would, therefore, like you students to have a sense of your responsibilities and show it in a tangible manner.” Unquote ”
In his presidential address, N. N Vohra, Governor, who is also Chancellor, University of Jammu called upon the Universities of the state to introduce courses which are job, skill and market oriented.
The Governor said that the faculty members should act as motivators and counselors in the process of giving guidance and inspiration to students and focus on value based education and character building for making them good citizens.
” In a knowledge based society, it is imperative for faculty members to undertake and promote collaborative research that help in solving regional and national issues”, he maintained.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the universities and higher educational institutions and young intellectual vanguard are the crucibles of change towards holistic development.
Omar said that human agency along with dynamic institutions evolve permutation and combinations that lead to a creativity where synthesis becomes vital in the scheme of things.
The Chief Minister said that the universities, to use a metaphor that all of us can easily identified with, is the hardware of the nature of development while the students and intellectuals are its software. “Both exist in a symbiotic relationship and find sustenance and nourishment from each other. No one is immune from the winds of change”, he said adding that those who do not master this change will be severely disadvantaged.
Omar Abdullah said that in the present new world order, “We must shine within to radiate outward. We must allow wide space and scope for human agency and unleash the creative potential to attain new highs”. He said that an institutional matrix complemented by a dynamic policy design and process especially in the domain of education is the prelude to the transformation that is required.
The Chief Minister said that the State has great institutions of learning and development and the people are proud inheritors and legates of glorious intellectual traditions that go back to millennia. “It is these fine traditions and legacies that we need to build upon and use as catalysts for a more vigorous transformation that keep us for ahead of the learning curve and change”, he said elaborating that this can happen once the intellectual and others hold hands together and master the change and transformation.
This, he said calls for a new outlook, a new attitude and temper. “In this scheme the young generation and young intellectual have a significant role to play which is full of responsibilities and calls for co-evolution of institutions, student community and intellectual fraternity in a direction that is salubrious and healthy”, he said and added that responsibility greatly lies on young scholars and students. He said that students equipped with knowledge and understandings have to take on the world with confidence and determination. “You are empowered individuals and upon you are also social responsibilities”, he told the passing out students adding that they have to shoulder local, national and global responsibilities.
During the convocation 68 candidates who completed their Ph.D. during 2013 from Faculty of Science, Life Sciences, Arts, Business Studies, Social Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Education were awarded Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. A total of 67 candidates were awarded the University Gold Medals / Cash Awards / Medals created out of the endowments for the year 2013. Out of these 12 students who are the Faculty toppers were awarded University Gold Medals by the President of India.
Vice Chancellor, JU Prof M.P.S Ishar highlighted various initiatives taken by the University over the years which include introduction of nine new programmes, Honours Course at Undergraduate Level, admissions to the PG programmes through Entrance Based JUET examination, Choice based Credit System from academic year 2014-15
The Vice Chancellor said the UGC has sanctioned three programmes under their scheme “Innovative Programme for Teaching and Research in Inter-disciplinary and Emerging areas”. The University is the nodal resource centre for the project ‘Udaan’ of the J&K government, he added.
The University has organised the 101st session of the Indian Science Congress in February 2014 which was attended by eminent international /national delegates including Nobel laureates besides holding of four camps of the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Programme of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Over 100 international / national academic events organised by various Departments and Campuses of the University. The teachers across various departments have published more than 1,000 papers in various international / national journals and a number of faculty members received prestigious international level fellowships. A number of faculty members have raised over Rs. 30 crores through various research level projects sanctioned by various funding agencies. The University has received a sanction for a grant of Rs. 20 crores under RUSA wherein University Institute of Engineering and Technology shall be established in Kathua Campus. The University also proposes to start various Interdisciplinary innovation programmes.