The North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, today celebrated its 49th University Day at its premises in which Hon’ble Governor of Meghalaya Shri. Satya Pal Malik was the Chief Guest. The event was also graced by eminent educator and social activist Smti. Patricia Mukhim, the Padma Shree awardee.
The event started with the unfurling of the University flag by His Excellency The Governor of Meghalaya which was followed by the felicitation of the Chief Guest by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Prabha Shankar Shukla. Padmashree Ms. Patricia Mukhim was felicitated by the Vice-Chancellor in appreciation and recognition of her outstanding journalism and social work.
Prof. Saurabh Kumar Dixit, the Registrar In-charge welcomed the galaxy of renowned scholars, intellectuals and the members of the public including His Excellency the Governor of Meghalaya in his capacity as Chief Rector of NEHU. In his brief address, the Registrar invited the NEHU community and the society at large to join in celebration of Golden Jubilee.
The significance of 49th University Day marking 49 years of NEHU’s existence was celebrated with gaiety and introspection and promises to keep. As the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor announced preparation for Golden Jubilee celebration by this day next year, there was resounding applause and praise all around. It echoed a new spring of academic and cultural life as cultural troopers were ready with colourful sets and special performances. Be it North-East India in one frame or be it solo or group dance of major ethnic communities of North east.
It brought the memories of the good old days of 70s, 80s and 90s as the audience shared and chatted their experiences of growing with NEHU. It included past students, many of whom are now placed in different walks of life and some of whom have continued don the mantle of learning by remaining as teachers in academia. The scene and the side of such retrospect as well as the enthusiasm towards taking NEHU to greater heights created an emotionally deep and yet moving moments. Joining the celebration Shri Satya Pal Malik, His Excellency the Governor of Meghalaya and CXhief Rector of NEHU exhorted NEHU and its generations of students and teachers to march ahead towards a more interconnected, global-local and rooted knowledge system and its dissemination.
The Chief Rector advised the NEHU community to play an inspirational role in drawing more women into higher education as he in his inimitable style quipped that higher education is the ultoimate source of women empowerment. NEHU as a central University needs to vigorously pursue this ideal of gender empowerment, which shall remain as the most significant contribution of NHEU towards the nation.
Mr. Malik cautioned against the illusion of standards of research and emphasized upon high quality research so that nobel laureates are produced from the Indian university system. The inner message of a continual striving to excel in research, teaching and in the overall, in sustaining a congenial atmosphere of sharing of knowledge within and outside the academic community never went amiss as Mr. Malik enthralled the enlightened audience. In his trademark witty style, taking examples from his own life and his vast experience as parliamentarian and now as Governor in atleast four different states, Mr. Malik emphasized on the greatest role of University in building a generation of enlightened, educated and morally strong corp of educateests.
Mr. Malik further exhorted the NEHU community in keeping up its good work and in serving the nation with a commitment to reach up to the highest standards.
In his speech, Prof. Shukla, the Vice-Chancellor of NEHU recounted NEHU’s achievement during his short span of eight months and connected it to contributions made by the entire NEHU fraternity. He mentioned about the completion of long awaited Career Advancement promotion of teachers that generated a new enthusiasm. The recent thrust on internationalization of higher education by the UGC and NEHU’s following of UGC’s footsteps, Prof. Shukla mentioned, created a whole set of new centres and offices such as Office of International Affairs, IPR Cell and a highly prospectful Design and Innovation Centre. Added to that is NEHU’s massive online courses (MOOCs) to be launched through well equipped studios is a new beginning to achieve goals set by UGC in the form of SWAYAM program. The Vice-Chancellor pointed at the new centre called Centre for Creativity and Internationalisation of Higher Education” housing DIC, IPR Cell, MOOCs and Office of the International Affairs represent the new synergy that has emerged in the short span of all out enthusiasm from teachers, students and researchers.
An ongoing Erasmus project with University Tartu, Estonia, AICTE Indo-US collaboration, visits by Consul Generals of Republic of Korea, Thailand, US and France opened up actionable collaborations between NEHU and such international Universities. The Vice-Chancellor chartered out NEHU’s new role in becoming the HUB of cutting edge research and collaboration with neighboring countries as well as with major countries like Japan, France, US and Australia. Work towards MoUs with Greece, Thailand, South Korea etc. are in an advance stage. The Vice-Chancellor restated the benefits of National Education Policy (NEP) in terms of greater cross country student participation and mobility.
The event was followed by various associations NEHUTA, NEHUNSA and NEHUSU. The associations pledged to carry forward the mandate of progress and development of NEHU in its 50th year. Cultural events showcasing the heritage of North-Eastern tribes and communities were performed by the students.
The whole year shall be celebrated by way of consolidating the areas of strength and by introspecting over weaknesses so that at the end of 50th year gets back its lost sheen and once again builds itself and rises up at the international level.