Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi said that he believed that the open and distance learning institutions have a crucial role in increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the country and turning this goal into a reality.
He was speaking during the 5th convocation of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University held on its campus in Resham Nagar in Khanapara on February 2.
Jagdish Mukhi said, 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 compared to the national level, have to make substantial progress if the country has to achieve this goal.
Mukhi said, he is extremely happy to know that the Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University’s enrolment has more than doubled this time reaching close to 35,000 compared to the last year’s enrolment of 14,000.
The governor hailed the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the university to increase enrolment and improve the GER in Assam.
The Assam governor, however, gave a caution while saying that by making the quantitative expansion and increasing the enrolment, the overall quality of education should not be compromised at any cost.
“The NEP 2020 specifically emphasises 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 KK Handiqui State Open University is one of the very few open universities of the country successfully completing assessment and accreditation of NAAC,” the governor was quoted as saying in a press release.
I had the pleasure of attending the Fifth Convocation of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University in Guwahati today. My heartiest congratulations to all the degree holders on their outstanding accomplishments in their academic pursuits. pic.twitter.com/fydKJ6ujSI
— Prof. Jagdish Mukhi (@jagdishmukhi) February 2, 2023
Former chairman of Union Public Service Commission DP 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 society. ODL creates the capacity for inclusion in society, develops individual capabilities and skills and brings social solidarity in society. 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 the learners receiving their degrees to remain committed to the values espoused by the university.
Rajendra Prasad Das, the vice-chancellor 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 students were awarded their degrees and diplomas in this convocation including 15 PhDs, 6 M Phils, 2,788 postgraduates and 655 postgraduate diplomas.
Besides, 17 learners were conferred university gold medals for being the toppers in their respective fields of study.