Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi Wednesday called upon vice-chancellors of all universities across the country to involve students in implementing the 'University Social Responsibility' scheme to protect the environment and thereby improve quality of life.
She made this appeal while inaugurating a two-day conference of the vice-chancellors of universities in the south zone jointly organised here by Pondicherry University and the association of Indian Universities (AIU).
The Lieutenant Governor said the 36-million student population spread over nearly 1,000 universities could be a vital source for making the country prosperous. She said,''Every student should be involved in implementing the University Social Responsibility scheme which would help ensure a 'Clean India' (Swachch Bharat) and promotion of green environs.''
The Lieutenant Governor said universities might face a paucity of funds, but they should build on what they have for better development and improvement in the academic performance of the institutions, as they were not absolutely full of resources. She said she has always been a learner and been interested in the teaching profession. Bedi recalled the reforms she effected in Tihar jail in Delhi and improved the standard of literacy of prisoners.
''It all depends on how strong your will is and how determined you are in implementing reforms,'' she said calling upon vice-chancellors to function as 'reformers, transformers and performers.' Vice-Chancellors had the responsibility to shape the students to face challenges in the future, she said. President of the AIU Sandeep Sancheti, presiding over the conference, said its agenda was 'involvement of technology in higher education for building a knowledge society.'
He said technology was a 'facilitator and transformer' in the current context of development while making a reference to the relevance of technological developments in democracy as could be seen in the role played by electronic voting machines (EVMs). Sancheti said universities could share resources by promoting virtual labs and classrooms and technology had the power to change the world order.
Later, he released 'University News', a weekly journal on higher education brought out by the AIU. Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University Gurmeet Singh and secretary-general of AIU Furqan Qamar were among those who were present on the occasion.
(With inputs from agencies.)