SMVDU Katra, An Eminent Lecture on the theme “Opportunities for Students in Emerging Economy” by Prof. D. P. Agrawal was delivered at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University in the Matraika Auditorium. Prof. V. Verma, Dean Faculty of Engineering welcomed and introduced the speaker. Prof. Agrawal, former Chairman Union Public Service Commission, Educational Advisor to Ministry of HRD and Founder of the National Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior, speaking to the large audience of students and faculty of the University emphasized upon the role of the students in the emergent global economy. The world today is completely changed and the youth has to play a key role in the pace of progress not only in terms of contributing to economic and technical growth but in terms of meaningful existence and protection of the environment.
The role of the universities is to be seen in terms of producing students capable of leading the society in this direction. The curricula of the university education have to change - it is to be changed in conformity with the need of the future. The academia have to see how an engineering graduate, a scientist, a management professional perceives the world, foresees the challenges, imagines the solutions and envisages the course of future.
India is the fastest growing economy in the world today and if we have to develop as a nation, we should have more literacy, more education, and more employability. This cannot be achieved without opening up and creating new areas of knowledge. We need to closely watch the intersections of disciplines because the future research is to be conducted on the confluence of disciplines – disciplines have to converge, it cannot happen monotonously or stereotypically.
It is the youth that is going to change the world. Today the jobs are global; therefore the knowledge and skills have to be global in nature. Here is the role of the academic institutions and the teachers. The teachers must understand that they are not just going to impart knowledge what is already created but to make the students capable of creating new knowledge. The education has been challenged to put you in a different world than what you have conceived of it. To understand the need of today and tomorrow, the teaching and learning must go beyond the classroom-centric learning. In this context the role of clubs, societies, and research groups becomes important that leads the students beyond the classroom learning. Institutions must allow greater interaction, not just with themselves but with the society, industry, and the human beings in general. Institutions are not supposed to produce just machines.
Prof. Agrawal commenting upon the objectives of the ‘Neeti-Aayog’ emphasized that in view of the objective of equipping the youth with skills the youth have to think out of the box and come up with solutions. In the same spirit, the academic curricula have to be reviewed from the point of view of the objectives of the ‘Neeti-Aayog’. Today’s challenge is also to cut down the carbon footprint, meet the energy requirements etc. through the non-conventional sources of energy. One has a role towards every emergent problem of the society. It is therefore our responsibility to identify the problems of society, creating solutions, not necessarily perfect solutions but even working solutions, which at least trains the youth towards developing a mindset of finding solutions – this training is important. He also expressed an urgent need of making repository of the conventional knowledge of the nation, the conventional technologies which can be improvised to meet the current crisis. The advantage is that when the national knowledge is made relevant to current problems, it brings a national pride.
The session was followed by interactive session. Dr. Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor SMVDU, felicitated the speaker and Dr. Anil K. Tewari delivered the vote of thanks. Dr. Sanjay Mishra, Dr. Suparn Sharma, Dr. Yugal Khajuria, Dr. Pankaj Bishwas, Dr. Sumeet Gupta, Dr. Balbir Singh, Dr. V. K. Tripathi and many other faculty members were present on the occasion.