GUWAHATI, Feb 2: Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi who is also the chancellor of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University, attended the 5th convocation of the university held in its campus in Resham Nagar in Khanapara on Thursday.
Prof Mukhi while speaking on the occasion said that NEP 2020 targets at an ambitious goal of doubling the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in the country. It proposes to achieve 50 percent GER in higher education in the country by the year 2035. This is an overwhelming task to raise the GER to 50 percent from the current level of 27.1 percent.
Assam’s GER in higher education currently stands at 17.3 percent. Naturally, all states, including Assam, which have less GER compare to the national level, have to make substantial progress if the country has to achieve this goal.
The Governor said that he believed that the Open and Distance Learning institutions have a crucial role in increasing the GER in the country and turning this goal into a reality. He also said that he is extremely happy to know that the university’s enrolment has more than doubled this time reaching close to 35 thousand compared to the last year’s enrolment of 14 thousand.
The Governor hailed the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the university to increase the enrolment and improve the GER in the state.
The Governor, however gave a caution while saying that making the quantitative expansion and increasing the enrolment, overall quality of education should not be compromised at any cost.
“The NEP 2020 specifically emphasises on quality improvement and assurance while encouraging enhanced access and increased enrolment. It underlines the necessity of timely and proper accreditation of the institutions, programmes and courses in ensuring quality. It is a matter of great satisfaction that K K Handiqui State Open University is one of the very few open universities of the country successfully completing assessment and accreditation of NAAC,” Prof Mukhi said.
Former chairman of Union Public Service Commission Professor D P Agarwal, congratulated the recipients of degrees and diplomas and stated that effective education through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) can guarantee the smooth functioning of the society.
“ODL creates the capacity for inclusion in society, develops individual capabilities and skills and brings social solidarity in the society,” he said.
He also stated that the role of the university is to articulate what should be the quality of life because it is only when knowledge blends with a value system, a person gets empowered. He urged upon the learners receiving their degrees to remain committed to the values espoused by the university.
Prof Rajendra Prasad Das, the VC of the University, in his address highlighted the crucial role of open universities in increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education in the state as required by the NEP 2020.
Underlining the significant role played by KKHSOU in that regard, he stated that the university is all set to implement the NEP 2020 from April 2023 and has been making all necessary efforts to enhance the enrolment. He also mentioned that in July 2022, university’s enrolment had increased to 34,243 from 13,775 last year.
Altogether 9,547 were awarded their degrees and diplomas in this convocation including 15 PhDs, 6 MPhils, 2,788 post graduates and 655 post graduate diplomas. Besides, 17 learners were conferred upon university gold medals for being the toppers in their respective field of study. A total of 1,015 people participated in the convocation.