Vice Chancellor's Report at 3rd Convocation, 25th Nov. 2011
Prof. R. N. K. Bamezai, Vice Chancellor Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University
Her Excellency, the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil; Hon'ble Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University & His Excellency, Governor of J&K, Shri N.N. Vohra; Hon'ble Chief Minister of J&K, Jenab Omar Abdullah; Members of the Executive Council and Academic Council; distinguished Guests; Faculty; Staff; Students, Awardees and their Parents; Ladies and Gentlemen.
We are indeed privileged and honored by your gracious presence on the occasion of 3rd Convocation of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, of which I present to you a brief report on activities and achievements in the past two years.
ACHIEVING NEW MILESTONES
Recognition and Placements: The SMVD University owes its existence and support to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board through an act of J&K legislature. Within a short period of 7 years, SMVDU has attained the status of 2(f) and 12(B) of University Grants Commission (UGC), gained recognition by AICTE & Council of Architecture (COA), and accreditation by eminent companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), HCL Technologies, and Capgemini. Other equally important international and national companies, to mention a few, such as, NIIT, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, IBM, BHEL, AIRTEL, HDFC, ICICI, SBI Life insurance, Coca Cola India, Water Health, Cipla, Nestle, recruit our students annually through campus placement.
Diversity is Our Strength: Our residential campus is home to students from different states of the country who join SMVDU's engineering and architecture schools through a national level selection process of AIEEE examination and CCB selection.
Admission to the MBA program is through the competitive process of CAT and MAT; and university level admission tests followed by interviews for Masters and Ph.D. programs. It is heartening to note that SMVDU's admission program has attracted students from various parts of the country and their representation has been on the rise. Since 2008 when Hon'ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh graced the 1stConvocation, the representation of students has increased from 16 states to 22 this year, adding to the diversity within the campus. Equally creditworthy has been the role of the university in fulfilling aspirations of local youth from adjoining areas who have succeeded in gaining admission to various academic programs, especially in past two years. Hence, the University is serving its vision of opening educational avenues and opportunities in the region while simultaneously serving the national interest.
Building Core Values for Setting Priorities: Under the leadership and guidance of our Hon'ble Chancellor, Shri N.N. Vohra, H.E. the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir state, it has been possible to enjoin academic vibrancy with moral values and social commitment. The process of creating such conditions is on in SMVDU where every member of the university community is motivated to prioritize collective interests and progressively work towards creating efficient systems. Our faculty is shaping their knowledge and skills to become a repository of creative genius and our students an infinite reservoir of potential talent and innovation. We take pride in stepping into an enviable position of excellence and feel confident that within next few years the pool of diverse and inquisitive students, the devoted faculty, staff and the alumni would work collectively towards building this educational institution as a 'WORLD CLASS UNIVERISTY' in this vibrant state of J&K. An abiding faith in the progressive values nurtured by the university and self-belief would provide the right impetus to work collectively towards this goal.
OUR APPROACH AND ACHIEVEMENTS
The global outlook and the grass-root connectivity: approach positions SMVDU uniquely in the world of academia. The participatory and democratic approach of administration adds to it. Our achievements in developing and shaping human resource is reflected in the quality of students we attract from all over the country, and in their performances and success stories in IITs, Administrative services, Higher education institution of repute abroad, Industry and other sectors. The excellence in research is reflected through quality publications in good impact journals. As a young institution of higher learning, we have taken initial steps to translate these achievements into larger social good.
Being sensitive to intergenerational responsibilities: as an institution, we impart education, awareness and training through programs, such as DST sponsored INSPIRE for young school children of the state. The grassroots initiative VIKALP, a voluntary effort by the students and some teachers is a step towards facilitating social mobility in the adjoining villages. Other academic and awareness activities include: lectures and debates on topics, such as 'Population and Development', 'Drug Abuse', Supply chain Management', Business skill Development and Entrepreneurship', 'Corporate Corruption', Culture Myth & Knowledge', 'Morality & Ethics', 'Gandhi's Two Weapons-Truth & Non-violence', 'Bioinformatics and Genomics', 'Creating a sustainable and Motivated Organization', 'IPR', 'Renewable Energy for Transport Systems', to quote a few. Students are encouraged and supported to participate in such activities nationally and they have brought laurels to the university by winning prizes at these events. Students are also encouraged to participate in training programs, workshops and conferences outside the university, so are teachers of the university.
Conferences, seminars and workshops: One hundred thirty three such events were attended by the faculty within a period of less than two years. Forty Seven of these were international and 86 national, where in they presented their research work. Twelve conferences, seminars, workshops, including 3 international conferences and seminars, were organized by SMVDU wherein hundreds of delegates participated including foreign delegates from Europe and USA.
Last one year has witnessed a greater focus on building research facilities augmented by funding from renowned agencies like MHRD, DST, DBT, CSIR, UGC, AICTE, ICSSR, ISRO. Resources have been generated by the faculty through sponsored research as well which has added value to their research and helped funneling research findings to improve industrial efficiency and technology development. The recent initiative of a twinning program with the CSIR institution, IIIM in Jammu, and several MOUs with different industries for providing hands-on training to our students, has further added to the academic health of the institution.
SMVDU Colloquium Lecture series: delivered by Renowned Professors: Jainendra K. Jain, Physicist from the Pennsylvania University, USA; P.M. Gauthier, Mathematician from University of Montreal, Canada; Jayant V. Narlekar , Founder Director of IUCAAPP, Pune, the Astrophysicist of international fame and V. Kannan, Mathematician from University of Hyderabad, has provided a platform for academic-'manthan'. Creation of student-faculty interaction platforms, empowerment of students and teachers, sensitization to gender and community issues, cross-discipline interactions are among many such initiatives towards creating and maintaining socio-academic vibrancy within the campus.
The Leadership skills and spirit of team work: is inculcated amongst students by allowing them to organize annual events, such as 'Concordance' to search talent amongst newly joined, 'Titiksha', a technical festival, 'Tatva', a Management festival, and 'Resurgence', a cultural and sports festival. Events like ZONASA which is a zonal event of architecture was held a year ago within the campus where more than 600 students from north zone participated.
Students are encouraged: to participate in extra-curricular activities which run parallel to the academic program. This is an innovative approach to engage students in physical, creative and personality building activities all through the year. Requisite Infrastructure facilities have been created, especially creation of a Gymnasium for both boys and girls within the hostel premises with a perspective of building a healthy body and a healthy mind.
The University also motivates students to achieve excellence in studies and provides merit cum means scholarships to top 10% students in each discipline. Such a disbursement to the tune of 60 lakhs has already been made this year. In addition, those students who score more than 9 CGPA score and belong to underprivileged sections of the society, a full semester tuition fee waiver is provided to them.
The University houses 12 Schools with both undergraduate and postgraduate programs and two additional Schools which are research, innovation and community service oriented. This structure of SMVDU with 14 Schools and four different faculties, referred to as Colleges of: Engineering, Sciences, Management and Humanities and Social Sciences, supports diverse infrastructure for computing with 400 network computational terminals, 12 Sun and IBM servers, telecommunication network and a campus wide network with fibre optics and connectivity with internet, software for simulation and design. We possess a well-stocked Library with >30,000 books and access to about 1400 online journals.
WE KEEP OUR EYES AND EARS OPEN
Our dynamic website has been designed by in-house inputs to showcase our achievements on a regular basis and for maintaining an interface with various partners. The website is also a place for networking with the alumni and receiving regular feedback. To facilitate this process of wiring amongst the faculty and with the outside world, laptops are provided to each faculty member to remain connected and benefit from the fast changing developments in all areas of knowledge and technology. The IT initiatives are also being extended to our library to match with any well established academic institution. All in all, this journey has thrown many challenges but the sense of optimism and faith in human spirit and will have sustained our efforts with more vigour and determination to build an infrastructure which is infused with academic vibrancy and to carve out a bright future for SMVDU.
We Feel Blessed: Nestled in the foothills of Trikuta hills and in the midst of the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi, SMVDU is indeed blessed. Lending an added blessing is the gracious presence of all the dignitaries here today on this momentous occasion. All members of the SMVDU family feel honored and grateful to the distinguished dignitaries on dais and in the audience, who have graced this convocation.
I congratulate the parents and the students who have been part of this function and received their degrees and medals of appreciation for their achievements. I am sure the junior batch of students would have drawn inspiration from the success stories of their seniors. I am certain that this would provide them an impetus in developing the positive sides of their personalities and contribute to the desired growth and development of this institution. I wish them all the best in their career and thank Her Excellency, the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil; Hon'ble Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University & His Excellency, Governor of J&K, Shri N.N. Vohra; Hon'ble Chief Minister of J&K, Jenab Omar Abdullah; the notable dignitaries; the guests and all invitees, for taking out their valuable time to join us on this important occasion. On behalf of all the members of SMVDU family, I reaffirm our resolve and commitment towards making SMVDU an institution par excellence.