“Convocation is a day of major transition. Till this date, your parents and society at large support you. From Convocation onwards, you are now contributor to your family and society and are no longer in growing stage. You have completely matured,” remarked the founding Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir (CUK), Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, during his thought provoking address to the enthusiastic pass outs, research scholars and other luminaries attending the first Convocation of the CUK on July 4th, 2018, at SKICC.
Honourable Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Shri. N N Vohra, National Conference Vice-President and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Omar Abdullah, eminent politicians, including MP Mr. Nazir Ahmad Laway, MLAs Mr. Mian Altaf, Mr. Akbar Lone, Mr. Ishfaq Jabbar, MLC, Mr. Syed Naeem Akhter Andrabi, Vice-Chancellors, CUK Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir, University of Kashmir Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Khurshid Andrabi, Central University of Jammu, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ashok Aima, Islamic University of Science and Technology Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mushtaq A. Siddiqi, Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Javed Musarrat, founder Vice-Chancellor CUK, Prof. Abdul Wahid Qureshi, former Vice-Chancellors of University of Kashmir, Prof. Riyaz Punjabi and Prof. Jalees Ahmad Khan Tareen, former Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Karnataka, Prof. A M Pathan, CUK, Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, scores of noted academicians, intellectuals, members of the CUK’s Statutory bodies including, Court, Executive Council, Academic Council and the Finance Committee, Deans of Schools, Heads and Coordinators of Departments, faculty members, senior functionaries of the varsity and other Universities and senior officials of the government attended this day of ‘transition’ for all the pass outs and research scholars admitted in the varsity, since its inception in 2009.
In addition to those receiving degrees in absentia, as many as 1057 students, including 56 gold medalists received the degrees and gold medals in person. In addition to this, 24 research scholars were also awarded research degrees.
Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, who was the Guest of Honour on the occasion, urged the students to continue pursuing their education further in order to imbibe more and more knowledge and play a pivotal role in the overall growth and development of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. “Never consider Convocation as the end of education. Education goes on for whole life,” he told the pass outs.
Sharing his personal experiences after being appointed as the first Chancellor of CUK, Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, said, “My association with this university for last five years has taught me many things. It gave me an opportunity to see this beautiful land and its wonderful people. The love and affection that I received from all of you here will be etched in my memory forever.”
Dr. Banerjee exhorted that the dream of this university, when it was announced will be fulfilled. “It is possible for us to create a university which would not only be known in India, but worldwide,” he said while sharing his vision for the university.
Honourable Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Shri. N N Vohra, in his Presidential address elucidated about the importance of quality research in higher educational institutions.
“The relevance and importance of universities and other institutions of higher learning is directly related to the extent to which the research on local issues is carried out and the findings are shared with concerned agencies to resolve the glitches and problems,” Honourable Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Shri. N N Vohra, said.
“The problems faced by the State whether it is global warming, climate change, preservation of water bodies including Wullar and Dal Lake, it’s biodiversity and ecology, master planning of our city, town planning, architecture urban design, traffic management and hordes of other issues confronted by the Jammu and Kashmir need to be thoroughly researched upon and the findings be made public for the institutions to act,” Shri N. N Vohra said, adding that “We need to ask ourselves as to how many institutions of higher learning and how many of our universities, faculties and research programmes are directly related to the problems we face.”
Shri. N N Vohra, said, the Country, particularly the State of Jammu and Kashmir is facing several geographical disadvantages and certain historical challenges, not all of our own making, but which are still there. “I mention these, because they could become constraints in the path of higher education,” he said. Shri Vohra added that it is our privilege that some of the best qualified and experienced faculty members are teaching our students in our universities and institutions of higher learning. “Equally we expect students from all parts of the country to come to the State not only to enjoy its beauty and culture, but to also imbibe knowledge and to leave the portals of these institutions as fully developed and balanced human beings,” he added.
Asking the faculty members to be the mentors of their students, Honorable Governor said “We live in a knowledge society a world rapidly growing and technological advancements have become order of the day. We cannot afford to be left out of this competition and each student who passes out of the university, has to carry a certain mandate and responsibility of contributing to the growth and development and resolution of problems at village, town, state, regional and national level, which is definitely possible, if our teachers act as mentors.”
Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India Prof. (Dr.) K. Vijay Raghavan who was the Chief Guest delivered the Convocation address. He said the universities of today have to play a role in the contemporary times to carry forward the mission of different centres of wisdom as envisaged in different religions. “Their role as the agents of change through development of youth by way of scholastic and non-scholastic measures is expected to provide a citizenry to the nation with capacities and capabilities based on value orientation that can make it great,” he said. Prof. (Dr.) K. Vijay Raghavan said that this is still the early stages of the university and the challenges regarding the infrastructure development need to be addressed. He said the Government of India will ensure that there would not be any shortage of funds for establishment of the university.
Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir while presenting the University report, said the CUK along with other 13 universities were established in 2009 and the then State government allotted 5000 kanals of land at Tulmulla in Ganderbal district for its establishment. He said the academic activities in the university were started in 2010 from rented building with the launch of three Post-Graduate programmes in English, Management Studies and Information Technology and the number of students was only 300. “The number of students and scholars receiving education and pursuing research in the university as on date is more than 2100,” Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said, adding the university has nine Schools and 18 PG departments with near about 35 programmes including five year integrated courses and skill based programmes. He said the admission to the programmes including research degree programmes offered by the CUK and other sister universities is jointly conducted by the consortium of 10 Central Universities on the basis of Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET).
He said the departments coming under School of Sciences would be soon shifted to the Pre Engineered Buildings coming up at the designated site at Ganderbal, adding that the students would be provided state of the art laboratory facilities in these buildings. Vice-Chancellor further said the university has already shifted the administration to Ganderbal.
He said the CUK has been able to get the senior qualified faculty on regular basis and the faculty members represent many States of India. Prof. Mir said the CUK has given due preference as far as professional development of the teachers and administrative staff is concerned.
Vice-Chancellor, said the university has already established an Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), Directorate of Students Welfare, Research Council and other important bodies, adding the university has an efficient students feedback system. Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said the varsity has organised several international and national seminars, workshops, and other academic activities from time to time.
The curriculum of all the programmes is upgraded to address the needs of different stakeholders including public and private sector. The university since recent past has been focusing more on skill based technical courses and integrated programmes to ensure employability of the graduates and to also make them skilled.
He said the university received messages from Honorable President and Visitor to the Central Universities, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind and Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi extending good wishes to all the graduates receiving the degrees and awards.
Registrar, Prof. M Afzal Zargar declared the convocation open and also conducted the programme proceedings. He also announced the names of the students who were awarded degrees and gold medals on the occasion. He also presented the vote of thanks and expressed gratitude to everyone for attending the mega event.
Author is Public Relations Officer Central University of Kashmir