New AKTU V-C pushes for online exams, says students’ health is paramount | Education

The newly appointed vice-chancellor of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU), Professor Pradeep Kumar Mishra, said he is not in favour of AKTU holding offline exams especially at a time when Coronavirus cases are on the rise across the state.

The vice-chancellor said this to the press soon after assuming charge, here on Saturday. Prof Mishra has been appointed V-C for three years from the day he assumed office. He replaced Prof Vineet Kansal, who was given additional charge of AKTU in August last year.

“Students’ health and their safety is paramount. I’m not in favour of offline exams in Covid-19 times,” he said. Prof Mishra said that he will speak to state government officials to facilitate online exams for students if the Coronavirus cases do not subside.

“And if any student misses the ongoing odd semester exams of AKTU after being tested Covid-19 positive, he will be allowed to appear in the re-examination,” the V-C said.

These points of view of the vice-chancellor assume huge significance as thousands of AKTU students have been actively campaigning for online exams on various social media platforms. The V-C said that soon after governor Anandiben Patel appointed him as vice-chancellor of AKTU, a number of students reached out to him on phone requesting for online exams.

“As I had not taken charge of AKTU then, I chose not to comment or react on this subject,” said Prof Mishra, who was earlier vice-chancellor at Jharkhand University of Technology, Ranchi. He said, “That University does not have great infrastructure and yet they conducted online exams for students. AKTU definitely has better infrastructure as compared to Jharkhand Technical University.”

Thrust on rural entrepreneurship

Prof Mishra made it very clear that if India has to develop, the institution must promote rural entrepreneurship by enhancing skills of rural folk. The rural youth will be tapped and AKTU will work in that very direction. Innovation and incubation is another area the university will look to focus on.

Academic environment and innovation

The new vice-chancellor said he will try to improve the academic environment and will develop an ecosystem where innovation will be encouraged. Traditional branches of engineering like civil and chemical engineering will be revisited. Specialisation and mass training of students is another area he will try to look into.

Instructions meant to give directions to society

Prof Mishra said in the past institutions were meant to give direction to society. Now, efforts will be made to regain that position.

On his appointment

“It is an honour for me to get appointed as the vice-chancellor of AKTU. It will take me 15 days to a month to formally take charge of AKTU as the vice-chancellor,” said Mishra, who has done PhD in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.

“My responsibility will be to take the university to new heights so that it may compete with other technical universities of national and international repute. Innovation will be my thrust area. Research work will be encouraged,” Mishra said.

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