“We are trying to implement many e-Governance initiatives to bring more effectiveness to our system of education. We now have an online admission process,” says Prof S K Sopory, Vice Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
JNU has collaborations with many foreign universities. We are now planning to have active presence in other Asian countries like Malaysia. There are also plans to go to South America in countries like Brazil. JNU already has a global studies programme under which, students come from outside and out students go to foreign universities.
The Union Cabinet recently cleared the National Commission of Higher Education and Research. What is your view on this?
I think this is the right step. The National Commission of Higher Education and Research will enable us to manage all the ideas by which we can use new technologies and new models to expand our higher education system. The students these days are focussed on the subject of quality; they want access to quality education. So quality is of great importance. National Commission of Higher Education and Research will hopefully help us bring quality in the system of education.
What is your view on imparting of vocational education?
Vocation education is very important. You have to help students develop the skills so that they are able to find the right jobs and placements. At JNU we get students who are from different strata of society, so we have developed internal systems to inculcate English speaking and writing skills to all our students. We are also developing programmes for imparting computing and mathematics related skills.
What is your view on the use of ICT in education? How far has the JNU been able to integrate ICT technology into the educational and administrative processes?
We are trying to implement many e-Governance initiatives to bring more effectiveness to our system of education. We now have an online admission process. The system for online registration was started last year. There is no doubt that ICT can play a major role in the process of education. We have plans to use technology for both, education and administrative purposes.
What is your view on the subject of foreign institutes being allowed to set up their campus in India?
In fact, I have given my view on this subject in the Rajya Sabha. There is no harm in foreign institutes setting up their campus in India, but we have to be careful about what kinds of universities are allowed to come in. So some methods of regulation have to be there.
These days many institutes have been going in for virtual laboratories for teaching their students. What is your view on this?
In some sectors of education, virtual laboratories might be useful. For instance, in biology students can benefit from virtual laboratories. But there are other sectors of education where virtual laboratories might not be that useful. So the usefulness of virtual laboratories depends on the nature of the subject that is being taught.
JNU has a research centre facility. Are their plans to expand this facility?
We have very advanced instrumentation research facility. Students from JNU and even those from other institutes have access to the facility. We want to expand this facility we have approached department of by technology. We are intent on providing our students a through grounding on latest technologies that are currently available.