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Autonomy must come with Accountability: Dr. Satya Pal Singh, MoS, MHRD

05 July, 2018

Giving his Chief Guest address at 23rd Prof. Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture, Indira Gandhi National Open University today at IGNOU Campus, Maidan Garhi, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State, MHRD said that process for the new Higher Education Commission has been initiated and the suggestions being sought from all the stakeholders. Emphasizing that the new education policy should focus on holistic-development and try to inculcate the right value-system in the learners, he urged IGNOU to have course content which helps imbibe those values in the learners for society building.

He cautioned educational administrators that autonomy for institutions comes with accountability and they must use the powers to build institution of quality. He also took dig at those who would pursue doctorate for earning just another degree. He questioned how many research papers have resulted in tangible benefits for the society and said that research done should be relevant and result in innovation.

Dr. Satya Pal Singh lauded IGNOU's contribution to higher education and said that changes are required to make education India-centric as there has been undue influence of western education system. He asked why is it necessary for any research done in India to have a stamp from some western journal or institute even now.

Earlier, Prof S.B. Arora, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU in his welcome address paid homage to the founding Vice Chancellor of India Gandhi National Open University Prof G. Ram Reddy and also expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Pramila Reddy for having come for the memorial lecture. He said that IGNOU is progressing continuously in the field of tertiary education. He complimented each member of the IGNOU community who has given his/her contribution in building the institution what it is today.

On 2nd July the university organizes a memorial lecture in the memory of the founding Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. G. Ram Reddy and invites eminent educationists and scholars to deliver lecture on higher education especially in the Open & Distance Learning domain.

Shri R. V. Vaidyanathan Ayyar, Former Secretary MHRD and Ministry of Culture while remembering Prof. G. Ram Reddy’s contribution in the field of education said that Prof G Ram Reddy was Institution Builder as he was instrumental in creation of Andhra Pradesh Open University, Indira Gandhi National Open University and National Assessment and Accreditation. He said that Prof Reddy was a pioneer and a policy entrepreneur who with his inter-personal and diplomatic skills could spot ideas and was able to sell those ideas to realize them in to reality. He also mentioned the fact that it was Prof. Reddy's efforts that to some extent changed the notion that Open Distance Learning mode of education is inferior to conventional system of education. He said that it was his vision only that differentiated ODL from correspondence courses offered by other universities at that time. He also mentioned Prof. Reddy's contribution towards accreditation framework through NAAC in this country.

Talking on the theme of the lecture, "Vision of Education for New India" for the university, Shri Vaidyanathan said that while IGNOU has made great strides in open education but it is also time to reflect and retrospect for the institution. He said that a sapling sowed by Prof. Reddy has grown in to a big banyan tree, and the next wave of growth would come from Technology Enabled Learning Systems. And it is imperative for IGNOU to do Technology Audit from time-to-time.

Dr. Jitendra Srivastav, Registrar, in his address remembered the founding vice chancellor's contribution to the university. He said it was Prof Reddy’s dream that has helped the university serve the under-privileged and the unreached populace of the country. Not only the working professionals but those who had to leave education mid-way are also students of the university. The 3 million plus learners across India from far-flung places is testimony to the realization of the dream of our founding Vice Chancellor, Prof G Ram Reddy, he concluded.

The proceeding of the function was web-broadcast live to all the regional centers of IGNOU across India and was also broadcast through GyanDarshan channel reaching all across the world.