Vice-Chancellor of Jammu University, Manoj Kumar Dhar had an exclusive interview with Ashish Kohli, team JK Media. In the interview he talked about the achievements and further plans of the University. He also listed the strategies applied by the University for its students during Covid-19.
Q. How did the University take up the Covid-19 situation and what were the achievements of it?
Due to Covid-19 life had become challenging. The entire academic activities had disrupted. But I’m proud that the Jammu University handled it very well. We made strategies and started online classes since April 8. Students who had to enter 3rd semester that is 2nd year were given proper classes and exams were conducted on their scheduled time. It gives me happiness to announce that these students will not waste their time. They’ll pass out in the months of July-August, maximum September as our previous batches before covid have. This year I’ve called off the summer vacations so that the academic schedule for newcomers is on time and students follow the career path they have chosen. Also, I would like to thank our teaching faculty for being consistent throughout the tough times.
Q. Which all MOUs has the University signed and who’ll have been joined it for the benefit of students?
This year the University subscribed special online resources for the faculty and research students. Access to more than 1000 research journals was provided to them. Secondly, MOUs have been signed with IIIM Jammu and Company Secretary Institutions. Also, 2 Universities of USA have signed MOU with Jammu University. We are looking forward for a student exchange program. Since due to Covid-19 it’s currently not possible so there have been webinars and the benefit was that our students got in touch with many International Experts.
Q. As we’ll know many students of the UT have to go out to study every year. Any new courses which the University would introduce?
This year University would be starting 2 new departments. The first one is Journalism and Media Studies which our University Council has approved and second is the Philosophy department. Apart from this, we’ll start Hindi Directorate also. We are creating Oral History cell related to Media and a FM Radio Community. Also, we’ll be introducing short term skill based programs as per National Education Policy.
Q. Funds for research students and Scholars has been increased. Anything you would like to say about this.
This is the first time the University has introduced funds for scholars or faculty who want to do research. All thanks to our honourable LG Sir. The University will also support them in case they attend any International Conference. An important decision our University has taken is that the fellowship of the research scholars has increased from 5,000 to 10,000 which is definitely a plus point for them.
Q. Students of Jammu University have issues regarding offline exams and mass promotion. Many times we have seen them protesting outside the chamber. What would you like to say on that?
Due to Covid-19 no face to face classes were conducted. Many students wanted to give offline exams due to slow internet problems while some wanted to appear online. We’ve given both the options to them. Whenever any representation from a students comes, we try to solve it immediately. Because of this, we have created a VCs grievance portal where students will send their complaints through email. We’ll try to solve them within a limited time and if not then in the second stage I’ll talk to those students face to face personally. This will be a source through which I’ll be in direct contact with my students. Also, it’s better to keep their opinions using their mail ids before getting in the protest mode.
Q. What are the future plans of Jammu University? Since the Covid-19 vaccinations are under process, as a Vice Chancellor what will be your message to the students?
Covid-19 hasn’t ended yet. Offline classes and hostels have reopened. We’ve made strategies to conduct classes in shifts. Proper SOPs and sanitisation will be followed in all Departments and Hostels. It is a challenge for us but we are ready to overcome it.
Coming to future plannings, our dream project of Research Cluster is soon going to come true. In the next 2 years we are trying to develop 7 centres of excellence. This is the first time we are creating an innovation tower where the frontline research areas will not only benefit Jammu but the entire UT faculty. Some of them are nanotechnology which isn’t yet available here, material science which will be focused, climate change will be a centre and then Virology because we don’t have any Virology centre in the UT, then comes Genome Discovery. Many different people live in our UT who have different genetics and susceptibility towards diseases. So this will revolve around exploring their genetic makeup.
These are the areas in the UT which need research and will benefit the masses.
Muskan Langoo, News Producer, JK Media