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news details
Higher Education Council discusses innovative initiatives
9/24/2023 10:25:20 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 24: Professor Dinesh Singh, Vice-Chairman of the Higher Education Council in the Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory, presided over a pivotal meeting of the council to assess the readiness of universities in the UT of J&K for the implementation of the 4-year undergraduate program, "Design Your Degree," and the forthcoming "College on Wheels" initiative. The meeting convened Vice-Chancellors from various universities in the UT of J&K and principals to address critical issues and chart the future course of higher education. Professor Dinesh Singh expressed the Higher Education Council's commitment to supporting universities in the seamless implementation of the "Design Your Degree Program." He highlighted that this innovative program focuses on project-based learning and will employ a constructive teaching approach, with a strong emphasis on experimental and practical learning. He emphasized that these initiatives are poised to revolutionize the higher education landscape, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and a deeper sense of ownership in students' education. All Vice-Chancellors assured to initiate the "Design Your Degree Program" in the current academic session. Prof, Singh stressed the need to establish a common pool of resources for the effective implementation of the "Design Your Degree Program." He extended his gratitude to the Honorable Lieutenant Governor and Chancellor of Universities in the UT of J&K for his unwavering support and guidance.
Another ambitious project discussed during the meeting is the "College on Wheels" (JK Gyanudhay Express). This innovative concept involves to journey on a fully-equipped train taken from the Indian Railways to transform learning into a project-based, problem-solving exercise, effectively treating the world as a university. This train will host 800 students and faculty members from across Jammu and Kashmir, earning academic credits based on their project work. This concept draws inspiration from the role that trains and journeys played in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Professor Dinesh Singh highlighted the importance of breaking down educational boundaries, emphasizing that "College on Wheels" signifies the Higher Education Council's commitment to inclusive and equitable access to higher education. He underscored the significance of maintaining professionalism in organizing this grand expedition. The main objective is to encourage students to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas. Students will not be charged any expenses during this journey, which is scheduled for mid-November. A dynamic portal/app will be developed for the efficient sharing of information with all stakeholders. Professor Umesh Rai, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu, provided an update on the recognition and support garnered for their educational initiatives. He mentioned that a Parliamentary Board visited Jammu and Kashmir, where he a presentation about these initiatives. The board expressed appreciation for the initiatives and the University's efforts, and they requested a detailed note about the programs. Furthermore, they assured that they would recommend these programs to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for nationwide implementation. Additionally, Professor Rai noted that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had also shown interest in these programs by seeking information from the University. He further said that the first batch of four year undergraduate program in the University of Jammu has already commences and recently their induction programme was organised for the students enrolled in the said program. In addition to these developments, Professor Rai proposed the establishment of a faculty exchange program among universities within the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This program's primary objective is to bolster the capabilities and expertise of educators, facilitating the successful implementation of these educational initiatives. To oversee the smooth execution of the JK Gyanudhay Express journey and other related efforts, he announced the creation of a centralized committee, featuring two nominated members from each participating institution. This committee will play a pivotal role in ensuring seamless coordination and the efficient operation of the educational journey. Dr. Yasmeen Ashai, Director of Colleges at the Higher Education Department in the UT of J&K, confirmed that faculty for the "Design Your Degree Program" has been identified, and the remaining processes will be completed soon. She highlighted that this innovative program will empower students to choose subjects according to their preferences.
Prominent attendees at the event included Vice-Chancellors Prof. Bechan Lal (Cluster University Jammu), Prof. Qayyum Hussian (Cluster University, Kashmir), Prof. Pragati Kumar (SMVDU, Katra), Prof. Akbar Masood (BGSBU), Prof. Kursheed Bhatt (Dean CDC, Kashmir University), Prof. Irshad Nawcho (Dean Research, Kashmir University), Prof. A.H Moon (Dean Research, IUST Srinagar), Prof. Naresh Padha (formerly Dean Academic Affairs), Pradeep Singh (Additional Secretary, Higher Education Department, UT J&K), Prof. Alka Sharma (TBS), Dr. Sadaf Shah (Dept. of English), Dr. Sheikh Ajaz Bashir (Principal, Amar Singh College, Srinagar), Dr S P Saraswat, Principal, Govt Degree College Parade, and Dr. Daud Iqbal Baba (Director, Sports and Physical Education).
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