New Delhi: Union Cabinet Minister for Education, Government of India, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today inaugurated JGU’s first ever Global Virtual Conference Reimagining and Transforming the University: Confluence of Ideas during and beyond the COVID-19 Disruption.
Welcoming the participants to the world’s biggest virtual Conference on Higher Education, the Hon’ble Education Minister said, “More than 75 educational leaders from six continents have gathered today to deliberate on the challenges facing higher education during the Covid 19 Pandemic. I congratulate O.P. Jindal Global University and the Founding Vice Chancellor Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar for organising an international conference of such a magnitude.”
“The world is facing the unprecedented disruption due to COVID-19, especially those who are in the field of education and learning. But we are committed to ensuring access to education to 33 crore Indian students during this challenging time. Through the one-nation, one-digital platform, we will guarantee that every student remains connected to learning, assuring connectivity and access to every scholar.”
The Minister observed that teachers and professors are indeed Corona Warriors and helped several young people remain committed to the vision of education, even during these difficult times. He complimented and appreciated the fact that Indian universities turned COVID-19 challenge into opportunities. Digital learning, online education and the development of several digital platforms, he observed, has enabled the higher education institutions to address this crisis. The Minister also added that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will prove to be a landmark plan for the educational aspirations of Indian students to compete with the best in the world.
The Conference was hosted by O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) and International Institute for Higher Education Research and Capacity Building (IIHEd) in partnership with 6 Global Education Networks – Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities, Laspau (A Harvard University affiliated network), the STAR Scholars Network, Qatar Foundation.
The Conference comes shortly after the launch of the National Education Policy 2020. Welcoming the eminent guests, Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University, Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar observed, “Today’s conference organised by O.P. Jindal Global University underscores the extraordinary potential for the global community of scholars and educationists coming together to reimagine and transform the future of universities. This conference is the advancement of our vision to build a collective effort to confront the concerns and issues of universities across the world and explore the way forward for a stronger future of universities, nations and the world. Universities and higher education institutions have a unique role to play not only in terms of helping us overcome this crisis through the work of scientists and researchers around the world, but also to build the economy, polity and the society, while building resilience among the young people studying in our own institutions.”
Speaking about the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, Professor Kumar observed, “The NEP 2020 recognises the complexity and challenges of the Indian higher education system with candidness. It has envisaged a vision for seeking substantive change to harness the extraordinary potential of human development and the demographic dividend that India has. India’s National Education Policy 2020 that could mirror and even inspire the development of a Global Education Policy. The NEP appeals to the developing world in its recognition of the complexities and challenges, but seeks to draw inspiration from the developed world in terms of its vision and aspiration.”
This global virtual event will focus on global intellectual deliberations with international and national leaders of higher education to reimagine the idea of a university and the future transformation in higher education during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Guest of Honour, Professor (Dr.) D.P. Singh, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC) commented that the gathering of more than 80 global education leaders will be a profound opportunity to understand how to leverage the power of ICT during the pandemic. “The educational landscape is in the process of a remarkable transformation and we can create technical solutions to improve access to education for all.”
Professor (Dr.) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), said, “The pandemic has made us look at innovative solutions for learning. We have created resources to strengthen online teaching and will establish an Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) where a student no longer needs to be associated with just one institution to get their qualification.”
Professor Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar of O.P. Jindal Global University acknowledged the esteemed guests for their support to the Conference and said that the inspiring leadership of the Hon’ble Union Cabinet Minister for Education sets the right agenda for the event. “This Conference will help focus on finding solutions for the challenges facing higher education.”
The Conference has brought together 80+ thought leadersfrom 6 continents and 15 countries with 15 Thematic Panel Discussions, 4 Keynote Addresses, and 2 Special Dialogues including a special panel led by women leaders from universities. Representatives from 55 Universities and Colleges across Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Qatar. Nearly 40 Present and Former Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Rectors, Presidents, Founding Deans and Directors will be speaking during the two days of the Conference.
This Conference offers an opportunity to interact with highly accomplished academics from some leading universities across these countries including BITS Pilani, Boston College, Cornell University, Harvard University, Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad, Jawaharlal Nehru University, The University of Chicago, The University of Sydney, McGill University, Pace University, University of Arizona, University of Cambridge, University of Delhi, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Oxford, University of Sao Paulo, University of Wollongong, Yale University, York University.
This Conference will conclude with a very special Valedictory Session tomorrow with a Founder’s Day Lecture by Professor (Dr.) Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University to honour Shri O.P. Jindal, in whose memory this University was established. This session will also be graced by the esteemed presence of JGU’s Founding Chancellor – Mr. Naveen Jindal. This session will also witness the presence of Dr. Joanna Newman, Chief Executive & Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).