Jammu, Feb 5: Governor N. N. Vohra, Chancellor of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), discussed with Prof. Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor, the action taken to implement the recommendations of the Academic Audit Committee. It may be recalled that, as decided by the Chancellor, a Committee of eminent educationists was set up last year to evaluate the Quality of Education processes in the University and make recommendations to improve Academics, Research, Physical Infrastructure and other relevant areas so that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) transforms into an institution with the highest standards of excellence.
The report of the Academic Audit Committee (AAC) was discussed by the Executive Council in a meeting chaired by the Governor and the broad approach of the recommendations of the Committee were approved. It was decided that a concrete Action Plan for the time bound implementation shall be prepared by the VC. Interalia, the Action Plan shall clearly demarcate the roles and responsibilities of each Department.
The Academic Audit Committee (AAC) comprised Dr. D. P. Agrawal, ex-Chairman UPSC; Prof. K. L. Chopra, former Director IIT Kharagpur; Sh. R. S. Pawar, CMD NIIT; Dr. Sandeep Sancheti, President Manipal University; Dr. Satish Kumar, Director NIT Kurukshetra, and the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Sanjeev Jain. The AAC made a critical evaluation of the working of the University against various important parameters such as academics, pedagogy, publications, projects, consultancy work, research guidance, filed patents, organization of conferences/workshops and the placement record.
The AAC’s recommendations covered nine important dimensions of Physical Infrastructure; Environment for imparting quality teaching and learning; Research and Development; Outreach to Industry & Government; Stakeholder participation; promotion of Entrepreneurship; Contribution to society and commitment to national objectives.
The Committee’s recommendations specifically stressed doubling the current strength of students from 1700 to 3500 over the next five years, besides ensuring that all teaching posts are filled up on a time-bound basis. AAC’s recommendations included: creation of modern lecture and seminar rooms equipped with latest ICT technology; setting up modern research laboratories, establishing central research facility and central tinkering laboratories for student projects; along with augmentation of accommodation for faculty and staff; utilization of solar power and rainwater harvesting; enriching regional diversity component of the faculty and students; revisiting the curriculum to make it student centric and outcome based; recruiting of renowned faculty at the level of Professor and Associate Professor; incentivizing overall research environment, creating student clubs such as robotic club and innovation club, strengthening the assessment mechanism of the teaching faculty, increasing inter-disciplinary academic and research activities, organising regular Continuing Education Programmes (CEP) and Faculty Development Programmes (FDP), besides adopting innovative ICT based tools and techniques to improve pedagogy.
The Committee’s recommendations are aimed at improving the internal autonomy of the University; making Research and Development environment competitive, quality oriented and meaningful by increasing interface with Government, Industry & Society at large. The Committee has particularly emphasised, improving outreach and stakeholder participation; qualitatively improving Technology Business Incubation Centre (TBIC) to promote start-ups and entrepreneurial activities, besides stressing upon greater involvement with National Research Oriented agencies like DRDO, ISRO, and others.
While reviewing the action so far taken Governor advised the VC to ensure implementation of all the recommendations without any delay so that this University emerges as one the best in the country.