VCs discuss administrative experiences in dealing with Covid-19

RONO HILLS, Jul 21: Rajiv Gandhi University [RGU], in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities [AIU] organized a panel discussion on the theme ‘Evolving administrative paradigms in post-Covid India’, which was conducted by RGU’s Institute of Distance Education [IDE] and Women Studies & Research Centre (WS&RC).
Six eminent vice chancellors [VC] from six universities, who were invited to speak on the topic, shared their administrative experiences in dealing with the pandemic.
RGU VC Prof Saket Kushwaha, who chaired the inaugural session, said: “Everywhere there is a problem and every problem has its solution. As an administrator, we should find a permanent solution for a pandemic like Covid-19 situation.”
Prof Kushwaha highlighted the problems regarding examination during the pandemic situation.
IDE faculty member Moyir Riba conducted the session.
RGU Pro-VC, Prof A Mitra highlighted the importance of administrators during and after pandemic situation.
Speaking about how lack of connectivity has paralyzed the education sector in the state, Education Secretary Niharika Rai expressed hope that the panellists would at the end of the discussion come up with a workable plan.
IDE Director, Prof Ashan Riddi said open and distance learning can be the only medium of learning during the pandemic situation.
The first panel discussion was moderated by WS&RC Director, Prof Elizabeth Hangsing.
VC of APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Prof Rajasree MS stated that digitalization of institutions is of utmost necessity.
“As we have a digitalized university, we have not faced many problems in governance during Covid-19,” she said.
She also said that colleges which are not fully digitalized should develop contents to mitigate the needs of the students.
Prof Sushma Yadav, VC of Bhagat Phool Sing Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Haryana, focused on the problems faced by the state government-run universities.
She opined that switching directly from the traditional method of teaching to online “is not conducive, as we are still facing issues related to connectivity, internet access, electricity and devices.”
Prof Sonajharia Minz, VC of Sido Kanhu Murmu University, Dumka, Jharkhand, said that the university should follow the HRD guidelines while ensuring equity, justice and dignity to the staffs and students.
Prof Jumyir Basar from RGU AITS moderated the second session.
Prof Neelima Gupta, VC, Chhatrapati Ahahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, shared her views on the leadership roles of women.
She shared data regarding distribution of professors by gender at universities in European countries, and the percentage of women professors and VCs in the Commonwealth countries.
“Whether it is European or the Commonwealth countries, the ratio of women is less, except in Australia,” she said.
“Though the ratio of women leaders is very low, they are playing the role of game-changers in combating Covid-19,” she said, citing the names of a few prominent woman leaders of the world.
Prof Shashikala Vanjari, VC, Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women University, Mumbai, Maharashtra, said she did not believe in regionalism but in the region.
“Trust and collective sense are important to achieve a common goal,” she said.
Prof Vanjari stated that digitalization is important “but there should be scope for one-to-one and person-to-person interaction platform. That is the traditional way of teaching.”
Prof Ami Upadhyay, VC, Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, highlighted the problems faced by women administrators.
“The common notion of the people is that women administrators need extra attention to deliver their duty efficiently. However, they forget that a woman has a multitasking personality, which is indeed her strength. The woman is more sensitive than a man as they are by birth a mother,” she said.
Sharing her experiences, she said that “in every debate and discussion, the panelists vote for the techno-centric.” However, she advocated a students-centric approach.
Earlier, AIU secretary-general Dr Pankaj Mittal highlighted the “seven steps for a university to make them their best versions.”
Dr Mittal also spoke about many programmes, such as the AIU’s initiative of ‘Best 5’ and self-paced online course for teachers introduced in collaboration with QASPIR.