Two-Day National Conference on Quality, Innovation, ICT & Digital Technology in Higher Education

Jalandhar 28 October (Jaswinder Azad)- Moving forward in its pursuit towards quality enhancement in Higher Education, Department of Higher Education, Punjab organized a two-day International conference on ‘Quality, Innovation, ICT & Digital Technology in Higher Education’, atHotel Shivalik View, Sector-17, Chandigarh on October27- 28, 2016. TheMinister for Higher Education & Languages, Sh. Surjit Singh Rakhra presided over the conference.
The dignitarieswho participated in the conference were H. E. David Lelliott, British Deputy High Commissioner UK, Ms Concepcion Baca Bautista, Advisor, Embassy of Spain, MsRenuka Raja Rao, Country Coordinator Education, USA Advising Services, Mr. Simon Grunfeld, Embassy of Sweden, MrAshish Sharma, Director, Australian Govt.,MrApoorvMahendru, Director, German Embassy, Ms. Bach ThanhBinh, Counsellor, Vietnam EmbassyandMrArild Oks Nevad, Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, ProffessorK.RamChandran, Advisor NUPA, Mr. GaganSabarwal, Director, NASSCOM and other dignitaries.
From the education fraternity, Professor Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor, PU, Prof. MM Pant, Former Pro Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU, Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, Professor A SBrar, Vice-Chancellor, GNDU Amritsar graced the occasion.The principals and  RUSA Coordinators of all the Government Colleges and Constituent Colleges also participated in this conference.
The agenda for discussions in theconference was initiated and underlined by the Principal Secretary, Higher Education,Dr. RoshanSunkaria. During the two day workshop there were three panel discussions on Global Education Scenario and country prospective, ICT, Innovation and Digital Technology in Higher Education and  the 3rd on best practices in Higher Education and Road Ahead.
The Roadmap released in the conference by the Hon’ble Higher Education Minister has the following vision for the Higher Education in Punjab:
1. Vocational subjects to be introduced at the college level and the students must choose one vocational subject during their three year graduation course.
2. Total Quality Management for enhancement of quality of education and administration needs to be introduced as a subject at the college level and also should be used for academic and administrative purposes. Online Admissions and online payments to be implemented to improve the quality of administration.
3. Faculty exchange programs with the best universities overseas for knowledge sharing on best practices.
4. e–Based Higher Education System using a virtual environmentto be used as a blended solution for empowerment of our educators and students. For this universities should introduce online courses.
5. Regular Academia corporate interface to bridge gaps between industry requirements and students’ current skill levels.
6. Universities to introduce rankings of colleges under their  jurisdiction based on output and outcome criteria
7. Tracking of youth after completion of studies/ 1st placements.
8. Research and Innovation to be given due weightage both for the students and the faculty at university and college level.
9. Survey to identify corporate skill requirements & expectations versus the current youth skill level.
On the occasion the Hon’ble Higher Education Minister also declared the opening of a MOOC (Message Open Online Courses) university in Punjab which will offer its courses online to students regardless of their geographical location.
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