Silchar, Jan 29: He took over as the 7th vice-chancellor of the university from Prof Dilip Chandra Nath who was rendering responsibilities as the vice-chancellor since 2016. He was given a warm welcome by office bearers and members of the Assam University Teachers' Association (AUTA), Assam University Non-Teaching Employees Association (AUNTEA) and Assam University SC-ST Employees' Welfare Association. Before his joining here, Prof Pant had worked as a professor at the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) Arunachal Pradesh and also served as director (on deputation) National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj NIRDPR-NERC Guwahati.
Talking to The Assam Tribune after taking charge, Prof Pant said the foremost priority for him is to strive to improve the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) rankings of the university for which he would take all stakeholders of the university into account while charting the way forward for the institution. He was quick to inform that the university will look to explore the possibility of getting connected to the Atal Innovation Mission and a proposal for setting up a centre of Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) at the university in the scheme of things.
"I have had a quick round of the university campus here at Dargakona and I am impressed with the potential all the faculty members and administrative staff members have. The morale of the employees and academic staff is very high and they are extremely motivated. I think we have everything which can get us A++ rankings," the vice-chancellor said.
He further informed that he would speak to the administrative and academic staff together with students and initiate short-term initiatives and long term interventions for increasing the visibility of the institution and overall growth as well.
"The challenges are manifold but we have got great potential and it is one of the best universities in the country. We will initiate some immediate measures so that our visibility increases and for long term objectives, of course, the top priority is to get an A+ minimum in the NAAC rankings. I firmly believe that we have got good potential to improve on the NIRF rankings as well. Research and innovation areas need to be looked into and we would explore the possibility of getting connected to the Atal Innovation Mission. Also, we have initiated a proposal for a centre of the Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) at the university. We have tremendous value in the indigenous knowledge which must be tapped. Barak Valley has got a very rich cultural heritage. We are an academic institution and it is our social responsibility also to disseminate knowledge among the people in the rural proximity here. A faculty member has been given the responsibilities in this regard and we hope that we will be able to get the IKS centre here soon," Prof Pant maintained.
He said that coaching facilities for UPSC and NET aspirants would be started; personality development initiatives, career counselling efforts would also be stressed upon and areas to address the declaration of examination results at the earliest would be looked into.
Asked about his views on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in the context of the university, the vice-chancellor responded saying that steps would be taken to develop some customized academic programmes to attract more foreign students to study here.
Sharing his thoughts further, Prof Pant said that he has had the experience of the multiple entries and multiple exits pattern which is one of the key elements of the NEP while working at NERIST, which in his words, was pioneered at NERIST. "Besides the modular system, we have to work to change the mindset of the students," he opined.
Talking on the aspects of embracing the latest technologies to foster the pace of growth of the institution, Prof Pant was of the view that technology is a major facilitator and the Government is laying major thrust on the adoption of technology for accelerating growth and development in every sector including education.